Roll for Perception: Childlike Clarity during Christmas
Every Monday night, Saint Hilda's House plays pretend. After working a full day at our respective work sites and cooking together, we clear the dining room table, queue up a dramatic movie's musical score, and begin our weekly session of Dungeons and Dragons.
We started doing this for many reasons. At first, it was because half of us were curious about playing about it and half of us had experience playing enough to get that other half committed. Plus, our honorary eighth Hildan, Kyle (whom we love so very much, though Kelsey loves him most), was ready to be our Dungeon Master. He spent hours with us to plan our characters and then spent hours more creating an amazingly fun and intricate world for us to explore.
There are other reasons why we are still playing.
I can only speak for myself, but I know that my job is as beautifully fulfilling as it is challenging. As exciting as it is tiring. I was reluctant when I heard that one of our weeknights would now be filled with an activity, since our weeknights are times of much-needed rest. But then we started playing, and I realized that this was exactly what I needed.
Playing brought me back to my youthful core, my giddy self who loves nothing more but imagining and taking make-believe things seriously. It allowed me to free up tension that I carry within myself, and be responsible for nothing else but a ragtag bunch of mystical creatures for a while. And even though there are stresses associated with this world (Matthew's character, Jaraaal, cannot be trusted, for example) it is full of magic enough that they are thankfully minimal.
One of the most unexpected gifts of living in Saint Hilda's House, with this particular cohort of Hildans, has been the ability to reclaim my youth. Even as we are presented as young professionals and the future of the Church while we discern how we can serve, the Hildans have reminded me time and time again to take delight in playfulness and use that to the greater glory of God. As we sit together and play pretend and laugh and cheer during Dungeons and Dragons, I can give up my burdens for a few hours and give myself over to my siblings in Christ that dwell in this home as we play by the rules of a world we create together.