Can you add some play into your day?

Some of you might remember the song by Sherbet – Child’s Play.  It was a hit for them the in the 70’s.  It came into my head recently as I sat in a café in Sydney, sipping a coffee, preparing for a big day of meetings.

Children see life in a special way

It was the normal hustle and bustle of the city.  It was busy.  Pedestrians tried their hardest to create order to the chaos that is George Street at 8am.  Most keeping to the left, at a brisk pace, keeping up with the crowd, pulsing with the crowd.

The odd person on their phone, eyes fixed to their screen, walking slower than the commuters that surround them.  When this happens, I can see and sense the frustration from the others, having to slow down, swerve around, re-calculate their route around the disruption.

Maybe we can learn from what they say

I sip my coffee from the comfort and relative serenity of my table in the café overlooking the street.  I can tell when there’s been a change in the lights, the footpath in front of me goes from empty to a scene from the running of the bulls.  It’s almost always the same.  Solemn faces, brisk pace, pensive.  Almost as if they are hoping not to be noticed, to blend in.  But I’m noticing them.

When things don’t look good, don’t turn out like they could have been

Then…..some time for play.  In the midst of the pack, a small girl, being taken along through the crowd holding hands with her mother.

When the going gets tough and you don’t see enough, of the things that you’d like to see

“Mummy, mummy!  Hopscotch!” she yells as she stops in her tracks.


Through a child’s eyes

Stationary in the midst of the hoards bustling around her.  If humans had audible brakes like cars, you would have heard them screeching – adults braking, and pulling up short of bowling over the little girl.  The chain reaction of one person suddenly stopping, a domino effect, 20-30 people deep.  Some changed course, veering around the one in front who had stopped or slowed, but all made room for the little girl, mesmerized on the footpath.

Kick off your shoes, you’ve got nothing to lose, you can take all the world in your stride


Kick off your shoes

She’s looking at the telecom grid on the footpath.  Well that’s all it is to us, and for women, an obstacle to be maneuvered carefully in heels. But for this little girl, dwarfed by the crowds moving around her and the cars and buildings in this concrete jungle, it’s a perfectly laid out palete for hopscotch.  It’s an opportunity to play.

“Let’s play Mummy”.

Child’s play, no complications, child’s play, no hesitations

As this little girl proceeded to hop across the metal grids, singing a song I couldn’t make out, the most beautiful thing happened.  Some of the pedestrians, a few at first, then about a dozen, stopped and watched this little girl at play.  They stopped trying to squeeze around her, they took a moment and a breath, and watched patiently as she progressed along the footpath.

When you run in the race but you don’t get a place, okay
That man on the line says you’re making bad time, and you’re going around the wrong way

I watched the corners of their mouths come up towards their ears – I don’t think they’d like anyone to have seen – but I did – and they were smiling.  In this moment of play, created by a small child, on a busy street, they were smiling.

Let yourself go, you’re the star of the show, don’t let the whole world pass you by

She didn’t hold them up for long – just a quick hopscotch and she was off, skipping and holding her mother’s hand.

They walk on.

Life goes on.

All changed through her play and the smiles she dared strangers to allow to creep on to their faces.

Love grew a bit here on George Street today.  For just a few moments there was patience, tolerance, love and light in the busy commute, in the concrete jungle.  It was just a few moments of play, but enough to dent the day for those who were witness to, and took part in, her play.

So when things don’t look good, don’t turn out like they could have been

When the going gets tough and you don’t see enough, of the things that you’d like to  see

Child’s play, child’s play

What play can you incorporate into your day?

“Let your life be your message” Mahatma Gandhi


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