I was sitting on a bench when a young lady and her dog walk by. The dog had a tennis ball in his mouth. As they walk in front of the bench I was on the dog stopped, slowly approached, and carefully placed the ball on the bench right next to me.
The moment of choice.
Do I hand the ball back? Do I toss it? Do I give it to the young lady?
I asked if I could toss it. The young lady answered, “Sure.” So there the ball went went, into the air. The dog caught it, and began to make his way back to the bench. The young lady gave a nudge on the leash and beckoned the dog to keep walking. Playtime was over for me and the dog.
What we do when invited to play speaks to our predispositions and the context of the moment. Are we ever ready for new interactions and for moments of discovery? Or are we wrapped up in whatever we are currently dealing with? Do we trust the one inviting us? Are we familiar with the game?
It was just a ball, but it was also an invitation to moment of levity, simple joy, and connection. I’m glad to tossed it.