A few days ago my four-year-old, Olivia, and I had some free time to play outside. Someone at work had given me a giant “bubble wand,” and Olivia had set her little brown eyes upon it. I unwrapped it and we brought it into our driveway, and proceeded to take turns holding it up to our mouths and blowing out dozens of tiny and large bubbles.Olivia encouraged me with delight whenever I chased one of her bubbles. She was focused and determined to grab hold of one of mine as well. The end for each bubble was always the same, that silent “pop” into total transparency. For about 30 minutes this game continued, breath interacting with soapy water to give birth to temporary little spheres that floated in the air and delighted a child and her father.And for that precious window of time, nothing else really mattered but the bubbles. My life, too, felt like total transparency, as if there was nothing too complex or stressful about it. No facades hindering the ease of knowing the nature of my heart. There was a certain lack of doing in the whole activity. Olivia and I were simply just together. The bubbles might have looked like a “doing,” but they really were a form of loving. Loving each other’s presence, giving each other permission to play our sacred father-daughter roles in a tender moment that, like every tender moment, was too short and destined to soon pop silently into some pragmatic endeavor.
About John M. De Marco
John M. De Marco is an executive coach and author based in Nashville, Tennessee.