Monday, March 26, 2018

Puddle Jumping

Image Courtesy of Scooter Lorimore

It has been raining for days these first weeks of Spring in San Francisco.  The streets are slick with oil leached up from the pavement and the sidewalks strewn with pink cherry blossoms battered off the trees by the storms.  And the puddles - they are everywhere.  Street corners, stairwells and random low lying intersections flooded with rain water and detritus.  

I put on my work uniform - a simple sweater, skirt, tights and navy blue Hunter- Wellington rubber boots - and head out to face the day's duties.  Meetings, spreadsheets and that gnawing sense that no matter what I do, I will never be finished soak me before I cross the street to the building.  And that is when I do it.  While everyone is rushing through the 4 way stop, tightly gripping their umbrellas, briefcases and intentions, I decide to stomp wildly through the deepest of the puddles.  

I see a few people scowl.  I make my way across the street puddle jumping as though I was a stone skipping across a calm lake.  I see a few people giggle.  One man looks at me as he passes and says "I wish I had those boots so I could do that!"  

It would rain the rest of the day and well into the night.  My mood however remained playful and bright.

Studies have shown the importance of play in child development.  According to the American Academy of Pediatrics,  play "allows children to use their creativity while developing their physical, cognitive and emotional strength".   

Psssst - can you keep a secret?

It's not just for kids!

Coloring books, ball pits, scavenger hunts, trivia night - are all ways "adults" play.  According to research, play can relieve stress, boost creativity, improve brain function, and improve our relationships with other people by fostering trust with others.  Sounds like a good thing to me!


Play Science: The Patterns of Play – Learn about the different ways human beings play, the roles these different patterns of play serve, and how we benefit from them. (National Institute for Play)

  Play- By Stuart Brown M.D.

We've all seen the happiness on the face of a child while playing in the school yard. Or the blissful abandon of a golden retriever racing across a lawn. This is the joy of play. By definition, play is purposeless, all-consuming, and fun. But as Dr. Stuart Brown illustrates, play is anything but trivial. It is a biological drive as integral to our health as sleep or nutrition. We are designed by nature to flourish through play.   Play is essential to our social skills, adaptability, intelligence, creativity, ability to problem solve and more. Particularly in tough times, we need to play more than ever, as it's the very means by which we prepare for the unexpected, search out new solutions, and remain optimistic."

~ Penguin Books

Here is a link to his TED Talk

Poem Puddles

Think of a time you did something incredibly playful, silly, unexpected - perhaps it was rolling down a grass hill in front of a coastal inn or puddle jumping on your way to work (thank goodness for those rain boots!) or dancing in a department store - did you feel giddy, unable to keep from laughing? Free? Self conscious? I can tell you from personal experience it was everything!   Write a poem about that experience; jump into the memory with both feet!

Words to Play with

belly (laugh, button, jelly)
make- believe

“We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” 
George Bernard Shaw

Please share the link to your poem (or post your poem) in the comments below. And, if you're on Facebook, post it to Poets on the Page. Come out to play with us!

Jenny Astramowicz is a writer, poet and aspiring wellness coach.  She resides in San Francisco where she works at the local university and trains for endurance events.  Her long term dream is to live in France with her two cats.
Not all who wander are lost...
#OctPoWriMo  #NaPoWriMo #NaNoWriMo #Poetsonthepage

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You can read her poetry at


  1. The World Championship of Tiddlywinks

    The tensions are high
    The players are ready
    Years of building up their manual dexterity
    To properly flip a wink in a cup

    This game is not for the weak of heart
    Leave that to the chess players
    At a moments notice
    Your winks could be buried by your opponent

    Many aspiring winkers
    Reading copies of “Winking World Lite”
    Dreams of being the world champion winker
    Reaching the top winkerdom

    As the match progress
    The players are ruthless
    Putting winks on top of winks
    Unimaginable trick shots dazzle the audience

    As the final shot is made
    The raining champ has been usurped
    A battle leaving both players
    On the brink of destruction

    The new reigning champion of winking
    Stands tall and proud with his trophy
    With a smug grin across his face
    He proclaims

    “Its great to be winker of the world again
    7 years since I last was
    Particularly nice, because someone on I work with
    Collects sperm from chimpanzees
    So its very nice to be a champ winker
    And I’ll leave him to do the other half.”

    1. So fun! and hilarious ending! thank you for posting