I received a timely reminder this week about the importance of taking time out to play.
I try to make a point at the end of each day to sit in the park under a tree for at least 10-15 minutes, simply to relax and unwind a little. A few days ago I was in my usual spot thinking that I really didn’t have time as I had left it later than usual and needed to get back to tidy up some work things and cook dinner. However I continued to sit there as the grass felt so nice and the sun was out.
After a few minutes I noticed a swallow that seemed to be having trouble with a white feather that I presumed it had picked up to carry off to line its nest. It kept dropping the feather and swooping down and grabbing it, only to fly up and then drop it again. After a while of watching this, I realised that the swallow wasn’t having trouble at all. It was actually playing its own little game and having a delightful time with it. It would fly up about ¾ of a large tree height and then drop the feather, watch it float down and just as it was a few feet off the grass it would swoop down, grab it, fly up and repeat the process all over again. It was such a delight to see this little show of pure joy that I ended up staying to watch, until eventually, seeing his message had got through to me, the swallow finished his game and carried his prize off up over the treetops.
What a beautiful, timely reminder from this dear little bird to remember to enjoy the simple things in life - to take time out to relax and play, and to have fun doing so.