We’re a few days away from summer; are you dreaming of feeling restored? Feeling your pulse slower? Your breaths deeper? And the knots in your neck and shoulders beginning to dissolve?
Can I offer an idea that can put real hope in your summer R & R? For you – and your children?
The hours at home – not consumed with schoolwork and crowded schedules… will they be filled with leisure or entertainment?
Sometimes I wonder if we even remember the beauty and value of leisure.
Entertainment is fun – and it is not evil. It’s great to laugh and cheer and revel in a good show, a fast-paced competition, a bounce house, a water park, or another big event. The adrenaline rush is exciting – and not destructive in small doses.
Leisure is free time. Not scheduled. Time to rest, restore, reflect. Time to have conversation. Read for pleasure. Build something. Go fishing. Garden. Breathe.
My six year old grandson spent the night with us recently – and life slowed down in our home. Before he even got out of bed, I had enjoyed a cup of coffee while we relaxed on piled up pillows – reading two chapters of Little House in the Big Woods.
We made einkorn pancakes in heart shapes and he delighted in having as many pieces of bacon as he wanted.
We took our dog on a walk and picked wild flowers; he arranged them in seven jars and vases – they’re still all over our home!
We played Battleship and almost finished a 200 piece puzzle. He built a fort and a tunnel with blankets and the coach and dining chairs. Then we took turns hiding and seeking “gold” (yellow Legos) in the tunnel.
We visited my favorite plant nursery – Arbor Gate – for almost an hour. I let him pick out the plants that would go in the baskets on our front porch. I love his eye for choosing a wide variety that look beautiful planted together. Sweating in the Houston heat, there were streaks of dirt smeared on our joyful faces when we stepped back to admire our gardening fun.
Cooling off inside he asked if we could read some more of Little House in the Big Woods; melted side by side, we enjoyed two more chapters.
Leisure. Not stress. Not adrenaline. Not screen-time. Just breathing. Creating. Enjoying. Together.
A deeper consideration is the trust and grace in a relationship that makes leisure enjoyable together. No competing agendas. No manipulation. No earning or deserving – or score keeping. No shame or blame.
Instead, learning mutual respect – growing from relationships of trust in environments of grace. Not perfect – just real.
Leisure – especially side by side – is both healing, and provides a boost to healthy brain development. Too much entertainment can be toxic. See the FEAR and LOVE trees on the GOOD STUFF page of this site.
There’s no shame in this post from me to you – just the hope of a possible course correction toward leisure. Please comment on your recipes for leisure.