Building Blanket Forts
I have been building blanket forts since I was a child. My mom would help us create these havens of joy in the middle of the living room, or by propping up the pillow that provide rest for your back on the family room couch. I carried on this tradition when I had my own children, creating an adventure world-a bear den in the living room, or a cozy spot for snuggling in the basement. Even though my children are now in their early teens-blanket forts are still a part of the fabric of our life. The mere suggestion of their creation sends a flutter of excitement through an ordinary day. Creativity infuses our busy, well ordered minds and the supplies begin to appear. Blankets, sheets, brooms, swifter handles, kitchen stools, end tables, etc. The list goes on and on. The air begins to sparkle with celebration. As the fort(s) are constructed we forget about the laundry, or the 'required' reading, or even what's for dinner. We are actually celebrating the moment. It might be an ordinary Wednesday in July, or a snow day, or a rainy Sunday-but we are all there. Phones and computers are put away. We are all there. Once the fort is complete, and we crawl inside we are pressing pause on the blurring images of childhood, of time really. We are truly celebrating that precise moment. John O'Donohue, a Catholic scholar says, "The desire to celebrate is the longing to enter more deeply into the mystery of actuality. Longing is no longer directed away towards an anticipated future. Now, the present moment has blossomed. You really want what you have. You know the blessings and gifts around you. Celebration is an attentive and gracious joy of presence." For someone who many years ago cried to her husband that her babies were growing up too fast-only to hear his calm reply, "Anna, they can't even sit up yet." Today they are nearly 14. I am always seeking to slow the moments. The best way for me to do this, to truly savor not only the big, but he small, the regular, the ordinary- is to celebrate. To build blanket forts, to bake a, "because it's Wednesday already" cake, to gather friends around the table or students around the fire. Celebration births presence.
I invite you to part the blankets and crawl inside with me as I, "Build Blanket Forts and celebrate ordinary moments"