With the passing of Christopher Plummer, many are sharing tributes showing the actor in The Sound of Music- the much loved musical and one of his most well known parts. I love The Sound of Music too (My Favourite Things has a great message!) though my favourite Christopher Plummer project is David the Gnome!
Also known as The World of David the Gnome, it is a joyful cartoon from the late ’80s. Its main theme is nature and the conservation of the natural world as told through the eyes of the Gnomes, who live simply and in harmony with nature. Christopher Plummer is the narrator and adds a homely sense of cosyness to overall theme of simplicity being a great way to live.
I’m not ashamed to admit that as an adult I still watch this cartoon and many others from my childhood. I find it a joyful way to connect to my inner child and sense of playfulness.
There are many other ways we can connect with our sense of play including;
- Play on Parks! I’m lucky to have a much younger brother and sister who have loved parks as much as me so I’ve been able to go with them and play as much as they do. I do also visit parks in the evening for a play on the swings when any children are in bed and so don’t worry I’m not stealing swings from small children!
2. Create! Our inner child is usually a creative child. Painting, drawing, making up stories- anything that is not “serious” work is great for connecting with our joyful selves. These playful pieces may later evolve into more considered works and it’s great if they can begin life naturally and not be forced into existence.
3. Spend time with children! Volunteer at a youth club, join a school reading scheme or offer to look after family and friends’ children. Don’t see it as a chore to look after them, see it as an opportunity for adventure. I take a friend’s nine year old out and we have huge adventures looking for fairy circles in the woods and talking to trees!
We can also connect to our inner child just by opening a conversation. Talk to that child. Don’t worry about being daft or silly- it’s ok to be that way. As children, we are often told not to be playful or are praised for being more mature. I know this definitely shaped my life as I was often told how grown up I was (meaning I was quiet and didn’t need watching as much as other children I suppose!) I equated this with being serious and wished my childhood away really, pretending to be an adult even from the age of 10. I remember vividly the embarrassment of being brought a colouring page and crayons when out for a family meal aged 11 or so because I thought I was so beyond playing! I love colouring now and definitely would not refuse being given free crayons haha! Same with parks and generally larking around- such a shame and why I love encouraging children AND adults to be creative and playful whatever their age.
Don’t worry, I’ve reversed the roles now and I’m even more playful now than I was as a child! I am more adventurous, more spontaneous and far less fearful and I attribute that in part to finding my connection to that inner child and building on that so that now I bring all I have learned to combine the playfulness with some wiser ways.
It really is true joy to play, try it and see! Let me know how you get on and if you love cartoons too, what’s your favourite? I am grateful for these early childhood creative experiences and thanks to Christopher Plummer for bringing us many varied wonderful roles including narrating David the Gnome!
Best Wishes and Deep Breaths,