January | 2011

Lesson No. 32: Joy Fuels Inner Fire

Brrrrr.... The snow has fully arrived in New Jersey. Driving home from the city in a flurry, I could barely wait to get to my couch and heat up my fireplace.  But to my chagrin, William had other plans…

“This day is going to be awesome! Let’s go sledding! Let’s build a snowman! Let’s have a snowball fight!...”

Truthfully, as fun as I’d like to ‘seem’…. Snow makes me think of one thing. Staying inside where it’s warm. (Those close to me know, I like to be so toasty that I’d sleep with a hat if it would stay on my head.)… But how do you look a wide-eyed, excited little boy in the eye and say “Oh, it’s just snow. Let’s stay warm inside instead.”  Besides, the requests would only go on and on and on anyway.

So I layered up, and layered up, and layered up while William ran out with his jacket open, no hat on, no gloves. I had to threaten him to zip up and put a hat on. I never managed to get him to put on snow gloves, but convinced him to wear cotton ones for a bit.

Long story short – William was so excited and focused on having fun, he never felt the cold. His enthusiasm and joy literally fired him up.  Thank god it was actually infectious! The more we played, the warmer I got too. And to my great surprise, after rolling the base of the snowman, I was ready to take off a layer. I was quickly reminded how joyful play can keep things warm, lubricated, and moving.

We all know it is good for the body to be active in winter in order to build up inner heat. But we can easily forget how invigorating it is for the spirit to play and the soul to connect with nature.

Of course, it helps to have an enthusiastic 6-year old to demand you play. But as William encourages… Once you are on a roll, don’t stop with a snowman…“Now let’s go sledding, then let’s make snow balls… then…”