Playing in May

Dear Friends, I really love May. When I grew up in Michigan, May was really the first month of spring. And in Washington, May is a beautiful month. It's not too hot, not too cold, usually not too rainy, usually not too dry -- like the momma bear's oatmeal, it's just right. In May, we can fling the windows of our homes open, letting in the sound of birds in the morning, laughter of children at play in the midday, and the clanking of our neighbor's dishes during the dinner hour. In May, we can watch the azaleas bloom, feel the sun heating up our bodies, and taste the flavor of the first locally grown vegetables.

This time of year, when spring really arrives, our still sluggish winter energy may need some rousting, which we can accomplish by eating lighter foods, moving our bodies more, and playing together. Play, lila in sanskrit, can be defined as anything that brings us joy, and indeed was used by the ancients to refer to all of the cosmos created through the sacred play of the Divine. By engaging in our own lila, we wake ourselves up from our winter hibernation, and align ourselves with the awakening earth, which is bursting with life at this time of the year. And it just feels good to play, especially when we are experiencing spring fever, and craving a break from our heavy winter routines.

When we were young, play came naturally to us, but as adults we may need to be more conscious about our play. We can help each other with this. Invite a friend to play with you this month -- to join you in some less-structured time doing something that brings you both joy. When you are playing, really get into it and experience it with a heart full of joy and complete abandon, the way we did when we were children. When we do this, we grow the capacity to bring the lila into every moment of our lives, making everything we do more playful and joyful.

The poet, Hafiz wrote a lot about the playfulness of life. This is one of my favorites:

And for No Reason --------------------- And For no reason I start skipping like a child.

And For no reason I turn into a leaf That is carried so high I kiss the Sun's mouth And dissolve.

And For no reason A thousand birds Choose my head for a conference table, Start passing their Cups of wine And their wild songbooks all around.

And For every reason in existence I begin to eternally, To eternally laugh and love!

When I turn into a leaf And start dancing, I run to kiss our beautiful Friend And I dissolve in the Truth That I Am.


Looking forward to playing and laughing with all of you very soon.

with love, annie.