Are you familiar with the game I Spy? While Scholastic® held a trademark for the printed puzzle, the children in our neighborhood created a version that didn’t require a subscription to their popular magazine.
Like most games, we learned and created the rules on the fly, adding features and nuances fed by pure curiosity. Reconstructing the guidelines we used then, I would portray the process like this:
Observe something in the environment that you believe is concealed or hidden. Proclaim the object of your focus and see how long it takes your comrades to detect (and build on) what you describe.
Our descriptions were concrete, like “I spy a squirrel eating pecans and leaving a pile of shells at his feet,” or “I spy someone whistling back and forth to a bird in the tree.” The person with the greatest WOWÂ factor won, which seemed to be linked to becoming aware of something novel, fun or awesome that was right before our eyes… yet not perceived.
I bring the game up now because, to my surprise, I caught myself playing it this morning! I heard a youthful inner voice start an I spy exercise… after decades of disuse. The activity seemed natural, as familiar as new, and it made me smile. I recognized the roles I assumed, The Observer and The Searcher, as they involved and tested each other. I also recognized a new twist asthe descriptors nudged me to a new level of awareness.
My Observer said, “I spy BEAUTYÂ in this dark brown bridge that spans this partially frozen creek as framed against this blue-and-white streaked sky.” My Searcher knew the accuracy of the description even as it was spoken and was filled with gratitude… for my childhood game, for the ability to feel moved by BEAUTY, and for the GOODNESS in the hearts and souls of Boulder Colorado citizens who know the importance of funding practical and beautiful pathways.
In 2016, I plan to resurrect the I Spy childhood game as an intentional MeWe mindfulness practice. I welcome you to join me.
© Copyright 2016 Maria Hunt