Across the globe, many of the etymological roots of the word ‘play’ locate it in the visceral: ludere in Latin refers to leaping fishes and fluttering birds. The Anglo-Saxon lâcan means to move like a ship on the waves, or to tremble like a flame. The Sanskrit kridati also, as in Germanic languages, describes the movement of wind. In play, we are rarely immobile. We’re alive.

~~Susanna Crossman, author 

Our spiritual theme for the month of June is “Play.” It is a much-needed concept and activity, especially after the past year. While many people have found new hobbies and played in new ways this past year, I know for me there’s been not nearly enough play. What about you?  

Perhaps you’re wondering if “play” is a spiritual theme; what’s spiritual about it? Consider if you’ve ever had the experience of doing something fun, like a walk in a beautiful place or playing a game, and you have an insight or find a solution to the problem that had you stuck or feel a joy that had been elusive. Play can be a chance to listen to the inner voice that tells us to let go and be joyful, opening the way for new thoughts and feelings.  

And play is a spiritual practice. If you doubt it, I encourage you to check out this 15-minute guided introduction to laughter meditation with Jagat Singh Bisht, Laughter Yoga instructor. Take the time to open yourself to the possibility of laughter.  

If you wonder if you’ve forgotten how to play, check out this short piece from the Oregon Zoo released at the end of 2020. It reminds us that play is a natural part of who we are as animals in the world.  

Author Susanna Crossman wrote, “In play, we are rarely immobile. We’re alive.”  

This month, remember to play. The world needs us all to be alive. 

Blessings on your week.
Rev. Mary
Minister@ouuc.org