The image of a box of toys impressed me while listening to Claude Debussy’s ballet score (1913) of the same name. Conceived of seven parts, its playfulness conjured up toy soldiers, baby dolls, stuffed animals, tops, hoops, balls, coloring books and crayons, and so much more. Even recalled the pine-walled-playroom our dad had built in the basement, our special place apart from the everydayness with its predictable routine.

However, a deeper look at the box of toys suggests the imagination as a container of sorts, filled with riches that nourish spirit in bleak times, such as our own. Besides memory’s traces of the beautiful, of intimate prayer moments, other forms of deep play, however construed, have ballooned my sails, empowering the exploration of multiple unknowns around me.  

One of these were walks, outdoors in all seasons: they used to imprint colors upon my psyche—even the subtle browns of November, the gray-browns of December: all strikingly beautiful in their dying.

And recourse to YouTube still animates ancient sacred sites that I visited in Malta, Egypt, Greece, Italy, France, England, and Ireland—all Jungian sponsored tours. Such experiences afforded me windows into psyches steeped in other forms of worship, its remnants housed in storm-eroded temples and nearby museums that suggested vibrant living at one time.

I still wonder about these ancient people and their smiles, as evidenced in Bes, the carved Egyptian god of laughter and fertility, seen at the Temple of Isis at Agilkia.

But getting back to the box of toys and its contents, whatever play inspirits your psyche, go for it. Let it tingle your imagination and soften your smile.