Free to Run and Play

This poem was inspired by an impromptu outing in Tel Aviv, Israel. One evening, the kids and I walked from our apartment down the noisy street, through parking lots, and finding our way to Metzizim Beach. With no agenda, we leaned over Tel Aviv Port to feel the water splash up the side of the wall and onto our faces.

Then we walked down to the protected cove, waded in green mossed shallows, and stayed on through til sunset. I sat on the sand and tried to warm myself with my sweater while the kids bounded through shimmering surf.

“Don’t get your shorts wet!” I shouted over the waves. Of course, they did.

There weren’t supposed to be any shells. Of course, they found plenty.

Across the little cove was a peninsula with rocks and a post flying the Israeli flag. I reflected how safe we felt here in a country with a slight reputation for being quite the opposite.

The kids embraced the chilly night like a new friend, which she was. As they splashed and sanded themselves, I surrendered motherly control of clothing and wetness to the wind. Therein, I felt the sharpest pang of delight.

Run and Play, Dear Life

// If you could do anything, be anything,

What would you do? Who would you be?

A mathematician?

A painter of portraits?

A belly dancer?

A shaper of ceramics?

A tightrope walker!

An instiller of dreams into the minds of children, fully awake.

You could play with this idea as I do.

You could sift it through your fingers like sand,

Beg questions from the endless draught of ocean,

Waves breaking round your ankles,

But all you see are the shells where none should be.

You hold them delicately in your palm,

A crown of flowers adorns your head,

You, on hand and knees, shape sand as you and the idea play.

There is no need to decide, if ever.

No matter, you are secure in love.

It will always be standing here, posted into rocks,

Waving the colors of your truest country.


Because you God have always stood up for me, I’m free to run and play. I hold on to you for dear life, and you hold me steady as a post. Psalm 63:8 MSG

I’m writing this post with the Five Minute Friday community. This week our one-word writing prompt in five minutes or less was PLAY. (// indicates the start and stop of five minutes.)

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July 7, 2017