Month: July 2022

A Midsummers Night Play

I was lucky enough to grow up in a time when, as a child, you could go to a ball game or an outdoor event and run around and have fun. The adults would meet up and exchange news and connect. It was a heady time with popsicles, water ballons, sticks as swords and toys made out of anything you could find.

We have lost that over the years that I have become an adult. I’m just as to blame as anyone. Those days, for me, where when I was really young. As I got older, I started to have more fear and anxiety. I began to prefer being alone, it was just easier for me.

Apparently that happened to a lot of people. I know once my parents divorced those times did not happen as often. More and more people had to work, kids were home alone and those days started to fade away.

Then came 400 channels and a reason to not leave the house. When you could stay home and watch movies or play video games, I lost interest in playing outside. More and more people stayed inside. Then there was the worry of bad things happening that appeared on the nightly news.

I get it…nothing stays the same. We evolve, if you will, and priorities change. Over time, you don’t even notice the new normal. But then something happens and you remember how it was.

The last two night I spent giving away lemonade at an outdoor performance of William Shakespheares A Midsummers Night Dream. I will be completely honest, as I always try to be, I do not understand Shakespeare. I have tried but I have no idea what is going on. I am just not cultured enough I guess. I did enjoy the performance though.

But I digress. What did I notice? The performance was on the front lawn of a local church set in the middle of a small neighborhood. The admission was free. There were a few vendors with unique items. Before the play there was music and it was fun. I was busy pouring lemonade before the play started but once it started something happened.

As I looked out at the crowd of families with children, couples of all types and an array of different generations, I was transported back to my childhood. The children were not looking at iPad’s but were engrossed by the fairies in the play and the action. The adults, not on their phones, were laughing and smiling as they obviously knew what was going on.

People sat on the ground or on a camp chair. The audience was part of the play and it was magical. As the sun started to set, twinkle lights glowed warmly from the bushes in front of the church that was the backdrop of the play. Tiki torches were lit as the Midsummers Night grew closer in the play.

Short breaks were taken as a bus drive by and a car with a loud radio but it was all part of the adventure. I looked out at the audience from my lemonade stand and other than a few sleeping children in their parents lap, I saw only smiles.

My heart was warmed that in this day and age, in this time we live, you can still experience magic. And you do not even have to know what is going on. It was an amazing couple of nights.

I hope that there will be more magical times for all of us. They may be happening and I am unaware. If that is the case, I will keep my eyes open to such opportunities. What a lovely feeling to be connected to people again.

For two nights at the end of July, it truly was a Midsummers Night Dream!

Time Well Spent

Life is a funny thing. So much time in our lives is spent making money, consuming things that require more money and making even more money. I understand that we all need money. But as I look back on the past 60 years, I want to see where my time was well spent.

If you have read anything here before, you know my priorities were not always correct. I spent as much money as I made and even more. I thought the pursuit of things was what made one happy. That was an empty pursuit and left me empty inside.

As I approach my 60th year, I am contemplating my time. Sadly, decades were wasted. Of course lessons were learned but happiness and joy were elusive. Recently that has changed as my mindset has changed. No longer are things important. So what is important now?

Time with loved ones. It’s easy to take this for granted. Our greatest gift is being with people who are supportive, loving and kind. Cherish the moments because once they are gone only your memories will provide joy.

Time enjoying things you love. Reading, hiking, swimming, photography or any outlet that brings joy! Feeding the soul is a worthwhile endeavor.

Time with God.

Time with a good meal.

Time of rest.

Time with nature.

Time with music.

Time in silence.

Time with purpose.

The list could go on and on. The one thing I noticed in this list is it all begins with time. Our time on this Earth is, unfortunately, finite. That is why we must try to control, even a little bit, of our time. We still need to live but the times well spent are the times that will be remembered at the end of the journey.

I want to remember times of laughter. I want to remember kind words. I want to remember hugs. I want to remember all those things that nourished my soul. The money never did that. The money provided shelter, food, warmth, etc. All necessary to exist but my relentless pursuit of possessions did not bring joy, it was time not well spent.

The time well spent provided those intangible things that are left on your soul like stardust. Memories to be recalled in the dark times. Strength to be recalled in the weak times. I discounted those experiences in my youth thinking things would fill the holes in my soul.

Now I try to drink in every moment of time well spent. I remember smiles, laughter, kindness, generosity and creativity. As I continue down life’s road, I plan to make my time left well spent.