Tuesday 3:58 pm ~ The Moment Before Play


Tuesday 3:58
Every play therapist knows this moment,
right before the child bursts in – 
we send up a few intentions,
something like these … 

Away papers, away email, away almighty phone.
HE IS HERE, all peals and squeals, with a cheek-breaking smile,
awash in giggles deep and rippling,
body bursting with the joy of movement.  

The intersection of adultworld and childland.
It is time to cross the street.
A path clears, a space opens;
Every pull and press of the day sweeps aside.
An empty desktop am I, ready for work and only this work.

Farewell, logic; I have no need of you this hour.
You will only impede my path,
a puppy at my ankles.  Sit.

Agenda, hold your horses; 
I may use or abandon you.
If this child brings something else I must follow, then follow I will.

Patience, hover near
 and help me.
Long moments may linger before the curtains part.
Keep me attentive, unhurried, alert, and present
lest I miss the moment.

Child, take my hand
, take my brain.
Take me back, I cannot get there without sweet you.
Show me how, show me why;
Show me the missing puzzle piece, right before my eyes.

Make me soft enough to trust
, real enough to tell.
May this space provide enough places in which to hide,
enough corners from which to reveal oneself.
Let me recognize The Invitation and accept it gently
if it arrives.

– Beth Onufrak

The photo above was taken in my office playroom on a sunny Phoenix winter afternoon.
The child’s white board drawing of a flower and heart is labeled, “You can bloom.”