Pablo Picasso once famously said that it took him a lifetime to learn how to paint like a child. Most kids color and draw and paint with unfettered abandon when they are little, playing delightedly with color and shape and form. Then somewhere around middle school age, the voices of external critics are internalized and the playfulness that was once engaged with abandon is abandoned. It can take a lifetime for adults to recover a childlike vision of the world and act again with childlike delight.
By The Rt. Rev. Susan E. Goff, Bishop Suffragan
When I joined the staff of Shrine Mont Camps for the final days of staff training last month, I was deeply impressed by their maturity made known in childlike play. I saw young adults teaching and learning children's games together with laughter, a good-natured willingness to try anything, and a heart-felt desire to honor and include all. Of course I saw glimpses of a competitive spirit, but the competition was almost more about who could be the quickest to love rather than who would win. It takes great maturity to engage in this kind of abandoned play that watches out for the needs of others, especially those on the margins. Members of the Shrine Mont Camps staff are mature in their silliness, their inclusiveness, their playfulness and their knowledge that healthy play builds healthy relationships. Now that camps are in session, I trust fully that staff members are sharing that same mature playfulness with campers. I trust completely that these men and women are learning when it is necessary to reign in the silliness and discovering when they need to take the playfulness into quiet listening. I can scarcely wait to return to Shrine Mont at the end of the month to play with the staff and campers, and to get a refresher on how to live with childlike delight.
Spreading the good news of Shrine Mont Camps into the Valley of the World.
The View from the Mountain is written by a rotating cast of staff writers and contributors.