Take a risk every day, even if it’s small. Get home a different way, take a new path; you’ll see new things. Sometimes when my friends and I go out, we make a dare for the night. I’m not revealing what we’ve dared one another, so don’t ask. I’ve begun to dare myself lately. Be bolder. Do what scares you. Do what’s hard.
I went to the ocean last weekend, and I was cranky. What’s wrong with me? I should be happy. I was restless. I don’t play enough. I need to change that. When is the last time you really played? So I got up, walked to the ocean, got wet, then decided to build a drippy droopy sand castle. I dug a moat and built a bridge. I’d forgotten that when you dig in the sand, deep enough, you hit a layer of shells before you hit water. I loved relearning that. I was building a sand castle by myself, for no reason at all. For play. Who does that? I did.
A fifth grade girl named Margaret joined me to help. "Wow, fifth grade. When I was in fifth, we were learning cursive."
"God, I learned that in like second grade." She was chewing grape gum and offered me a piece. "Well, don’t feel bad, times are different now." We talked about her school and how she just got her ears pierced. "Not at Claire’s. Their biggest selling accessory is infection." I began to blink. Was I hearing things? "That’s what my mom says." She then told me her mother’s cancer was in remission and how her friend Debbie is getting a second hole in her ear. "But she’s allowed because she is handicapped."
Our conversation reminded me of how much I have to be thankful for. I was also glad, for the first time in my life, that I had short
weakass nails… all the better to play in the sand with. A moat is a good time. Go play.