5-year-old Jude had a hard day. He'd managed to be in 3 timeouts by 2:00pm. The usual pleasures offered him, he turned away with disdain: no blow-up pool could substitute for the new pool at his house; the park was mundane and not worth the walk (even though I offered to drive us). He had hoped for the company (distraction) of the neighbor kids, but they were gone for the day.
He decided the sprinkler felt good. The bubble maker was a good choice: he could have the bubbles all to himself. Then, he was reminded of the place behind the garage where he could get dirtiest and engage his imagination unfettered: the sand path lined with stones.
With a "digger" in hand and some sand toys, he could devise cities, individual lives of sea creatures or totems to an underground army. So, he dug, buried stones, piled stones. He and his grandfather, who leisurely accompanied Jude, discussed whatever possibilities existed in the day. I half-listened from a bench nearby.
Suddenly, I pay attention to a question Jude asks: "Is gravity everywhere?"
"Yes," I answer.
"Well, not here," he says. I look up to see him lightly skip-dancing down the path.
He found his happy place.
He was wet and sandy. Holes were dug in the path. Rocks were half-buried in the sand. Muddy handprints on the garage. It might be not be pretty, but it was beautiful.
He had found his happy place.
Where might we find our happy place in a day of discontent? Do we need the discourse of our Father? To dig deep into the usual well-kept parts of our lives? Make a mess? Get dirty? Find your happy place. Be sure to get a good hosing afterwards.
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