Do you remember creating tunnels and roadways from sand, then running your toy cars through the sand when you were little? I was lucky enough to have an area of sand in my backyard for a little while, as my dad was building a deck. My brother and I played for hours in the sand, creating forts, castles, and elaborate roadways. I recall just having fun and feeling the sand run through my fingers…ahh…it was lovely!
Now, in our modern day, we have a new thing out called kinetic sand. Its texture is almost ‘gluey’, and it comes in many colors. You can form structures…it even comes with molds! I used to buy it each year for my students. They would go to play with the sand if they were stressed. It calmed them immediately.
When our Curiodyssey triad began to play with the ether element, we thought of the little zen gardens you can buy in a box. I loved having one! It is long gone, so I decided to create my own! It was such fun locating the materials. It took about two minutes to create, and I have since spent many minutes, playing with the tools, creating designs in the sand. My heart rate drops dramatically, I swear!
As I continued to play with the sand and its soft textures, visions came into being…a new landscape began to take shape, and my memories of old reminded me of the kingdoms I built as a child. Victoria wondered about how fun it would be to create our own ‘Land of Create-Believe’, through this tactile experience. At the time, I couldn’t pull up a vision. That is, until I literally got my hands back into the sand to play. Then I began to see textures, colors, and eventually, some forms took shape in my being’s eye. What fun it was to be able to imagine this new realm, where anything was possible. This experience took me back to my childhood, yet with an added sophistication and many nuances of light and shadow added in. My being opened up again into a place where my imagination took over, and I created whatever I wanted. I felt a release of tension, and being in the present and playing was the only thing that mattered in these moments.
We have all heard lately that it is important now, to open up these aspects of ourselves again, to oil the hinges of our rusty imaginations and play again. Playing opens up new neural networks, and opens us up to new possibilities. I will admit, I am nervous talking about this kind of play…there are oh so many voices trying to sneer at my personality. Bah! I say. To play is to be brave. And being brave nowadays is pretty cool, yes?
Creating a zen garden is pretty easy. Most craft stores have everything you need. The satisfaction that came out of making a garden in the size I wanted has been immense. I keep finding new tools too…hmm…isn’t that what creating new realms is all about? Finding new tools that work in the now?! I am so excited to be playing once again, in a new landscape that I create, where anything is possible. Just a little zen is needed for a whole ‘lotta’ landscape to be created!