The smoke from a fire was pretty thick and the heat oppressive, so early in the season. I taught a flamenco class, which was somewhat grueling because of the air quality affecting everyone. At its end, packing up to leave, I heard excited kids outside the dance studio, one little girl saying she was scared, the others squealing but not with too terrible an urgency. Then a bright young boy of about 7 or 8 burst in and in a rather breathless tone said, “Excuse me but there’s a big black spider crawling on the wall out here!”. I thanked him for coming to get me and when I got out to the hall there stood a small row of children at a safe distance from the spider wall, staring at the scary looking creature. “Is it a black widow?”
Given the air quality, which affects my vision, I could not tell for sure, though I didn’t really think so. Nevertheless I turned to them all and said, “Thank you so much for getting help, you were smart to come and get me. And I think you are at a good safe distance there – let me get my glasses so I can see up close.”
Upon examination I informed them it was not a black widow. Then I searched around, explaining I was looking for a container. One of the girls brought me a shoe and it seemed she thought I wanted to kill the spider, so I explained I wanted to try to help it outside. Then I gathered some paper towels – the boy who’d gotten my help looked at me, smiling and wincing both at once, knowing what I was about to do. After grabbing the spider loosely in the paper towel I started scoot-running down the hall to an exit and the kids followed. We all burst into giggling together as we ran and I milked it, telling them, “Yikes, I can feel him moving around in there!” to which they squealed and giggled even more.
After letting the spider loose each child thanked me and then it was back to business as usual. Well, not quite as usual – walking out into the parking lot, I couldn’t get rid of the smile on my face from all the essential magic. I had been swept up into the kid’s world where the magic of play rules. And there was something realer about that transaction than any other I’d had through the din of the day’s dense atmosphere. The breathing problems, all the body’s symptoms seemed to have vanished. Truth is I jumped onto another track, into another world. The energetic shift has been remarkable. May blessings rain on that spider, bringing me the fresh spring water of that encounter on a parched day. I did not realize how thirsty I was until after I was given a smooth shot of whimsy.
Whimsy requires a moment or two of freedom, and can serve as a good indicator. To my view, the above experience provided a generous window of opportunity. It nourished where nourishment was needed. There was nothing superfluous, it was complete unto itself. There were factors present, the analysis of which will offer nothing of lasting value, but some notation might be noteworthy nonetheless. Let us speak of whimsy, moments of freedom, good voyaging, and other such light-hearted matters on the next Journey, this Thursday, May 9, at 6pm PST on GorebaggTV.