A couple of weeks ago (June 4th, to be exact), my partner and I found ourselves in a Food Lion parking lot agog at one of the fattest double rainbows we had ever seen. We kept circling the lot, windows down, attempting to get a "good shot" of the delicious juiciness. As you can see, we mostly failed.
What followed, however, was a spontaneous, extended moment of play--we began to drive to different locations, attempting to get the best view possible. As you are no doubt aware, rainbows are not particularly cooperative during pursuit--pretending to be one place, and switching, at just the last moment, to another place of origin.
Now, my partner and I are not spring chickens. We are, admittedly, a bit set in our ways--and especially in our routines. We'd already busted up the routine of this particular evening by going to Food Lion. Usually, we choose another, larger grocery store where we can be tempted by greater quantities of sin in the deli. I have, of course, absolutely no recollection of what took us to Food Lion. But there we were--driving around the parking lot, chasing rainbows.
Now, if you know your science, you know that trying to chase down a rainbow is a fool's errand. Every time you move, you risk losing that magic 42 degree angle in relation to the sun which allows you to see the rainbow in the first place. Plus, the rainbow I see is not the same as the rainbow you see, even with you standing right beside me--it is all relative to our relationship with the water & sunlight. We can't get closer to it--it will always be the same distance away.
That doesn't, apparently, stop us from trying. :)
Which is a good thing. I could, right here, allude to a certain Supreme Court ruling that took place on June 26th, which made my marriage (effected in the great state of California in 2013, thank you very much) legal in all 50 states that day. I could talk about all the chasing of this goal--equal rights for all human beings--being just as illusive as rainbows. Despite all our gains in this and other countries, there is still slavery, there is still torture, there is still injustice. But what I would rather talk about is how the desire to play (by chasing real rainbows) is something I think we all need more of--for our own mental health, and for our relationships with others.
On my [human]nature Facebook page, you can find video after video of animals engaged in play. Many times these videos show interactions between more than one species. So it would appear that every sentient being on the planet has this need to play.
We are not unlike other sentient beings. And when we deny ourselves time to play, especially play with other sentient beings (whether they are our "pets," our partners or our children), we are missing out.
My play, on this particular evening, was to chase rainbows with my partner. Age was not a factor. If anything, it made it more fun, to realize that despite growing older, we still have this spontaneous impulse, and we still have the potential to give in to it. I hope you do, too.