Dearest Bribie Islanders, I actually went to bed pretty early for me last night so I am currently writing this to you all in the wee hours of the morn’. It is still very dark outside, the rain is trickling gently down, no one else is yet awake and I have some quiet native American-flute music in the background.

It is lovely and peaceful. Not sure about you, but I remember being a small child and feeling like the world was so big all around me. So wondrous. I remember feeling that magical feeling of imagining what the future what would be like. I specifically recall a time in grade two where I turned to my then best friend and said, “I wonder what we will look like at 20”, – we were both so excited for such a time in adulthood to come. As a child, we were very aware that we were young and there was much to be learnt.

There were many things that told us there was a long way to go in our maturation process: school, older siblings and adults that seemed to be able to do a lot more things to name a few! For me personally, there was a strong sense of safety knowing that I had time to learn these things and that I could just enjoy being a kid. I suppose everyone’s childhood is different and for some, they had adult situations/ responsibilities thrust on them at too early an age. But even then, it is not too late to recapture the magic and wonder of childhood and make it come alive again.

That is where I want to guide this conversation today. You know how I said before that I felt safe knowing I had time to learn and grow. Well actually, it was more the, ‘not being aware of time’, that made me feel free. Time is a dimension we’ve been given on this earth to govern it, but really true life exists outside of time. When we are completely unaware of ourselves, things that must be done, the past or the future: that is where we are happiest. Do you remember what playing felt like? When you just completely got lost in the zone for hours and nothing else mattered.

It might have been Lego for some, Barbies/Bratz dolls for others, or simply dirt and trenches and drinking out of the hose for the outdoorsy kids. Sorry (not sorry 😉 Mum for ruining the backyard that one time with mine and Sam’s mud tunnels! Anyway, it doesn’t matter what it was that we were playing, but there was a magical element to it wasn’t there? So much freedom and creativity. Then at some point, it starts to fade and we become inundated with things to do.

Ideals, deadlines, assignments, goals. Life gets a bit more fidgety and complicated. Mostly, there are responsibilities that call our attention and we lose ourselves and our play. The crazy lie is that we can’t have responsibility AND play. But we can. Just because you grow up, doesn’t mean you should grow out of the magic of play and imagination and creativity. The trick is, not thinking you know everything already and that you’ve done growing. You see, it doesn’t matter how skilled or smart you get, or how successful even, there will always be another challenge, another level, something else to learn.

You will always be maturing. Life is always teaching us something new, but as we grow older we tend to get more comfortable in our own versions of knowledge. We become poorer learners because we think we know something or two. You will surely be doing a disservice to yourself if you think you’re knowledgeable because, at that point, you stop learning. And, you must be open to the simplest of things, like a child, being the one to impart wisdom to you, in order to keep learning. If your goal is just to get smart or skilled or become successful, you’ve lost the meaning of life.

These attributes should only ever be achieved in order to help not only yourself but your community to live well. Yet, that kind of attitude takes humility and a childlike heart. My prayer for you all today is that you begin to discover things that spark your play. To live for a minute, outside of time. To remember that life is about movement that is beautiful, fluid, pleasurable, carefree, strong but gentle.

It is not stop and go, forcing and pushing, striving and reaching. Remember that there is something else on the horizon waiting to be learnt by you. Treasures about earth and life are hidden but it will take a humble, inquisitive heart to find them. And I hope dearest Islanders, that once you have found them you will share them with us all. Until next time, Nikita

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