"Let the little children come to me." Matthew 19:14
Play is just about the simplest thing--you might think. Children learn and grow through play, but for adults, it seems that many are uncomfortable with playing, with silliness; with dreams and hopes. They have rooted it out of themselves and expect the same of others. The laughter, the creativeness, the joy of play, all gone. Some are acutely uncomfortable when in the company of adults engaging in such behavior, even those who may describe themselves as "creative" or "artistic." In the early adult years we all struggle to establish ourselves, to make a living and carve out a life path; all these activities leave little room for play.
In the middle years many now feel bored, dried out, dissatisfied. The things they worked to achieve or the disappointments they have endured make them more or less stoics. With retirement approaching, what is to become of the self in the "second half" of life? There still is playfulness--even if it has been squeezed tightly, stowed into a closet or sub-basement all these years. It brings its own delights and its own joys. Laughter is a good thing for ones' health and happiness. The creative effects of play makes a potent method for coping with change.
The Bible remarks many times that the Divine is much pleased by the play of children. Matthew 19:14 tells us, "Let the little children come to me." But for the adult, re-membering, re-discovering joy, playfulness is not always literal; it may be the symbolic play, the love of the divine, the light casting shadows, rainbows glistening over water; it may originate in your own heart.