I recently played a word association game called Bye Felicia with a 12-year old boy I know. The idea is to write down as many related words to an assigned topic as you can think of in 30 seconds. One of our categories was “Things you can open and close.” I chuckled as I wrote my answers because I was fairly certain I would win – drawers, doors, wallets, checking accounts. Then we compared answers. His winning answer (because I didn’t list it) was “your heart”. I felt my own heart explode all over the room when he read it. I imagine years from now, they’ll still find pieces of my ruptured heart embedded in the carpet of that room.
“That is my favorite answer of the day,” I said.
Later that night, a six-year old, art-loving little boy I know made me a paper airplane. “I drew a heart on it,” he said. “Now you can call it a heart plane.”
“I love it,” I told him. “I think everyone should have a heart plane and I’m so glad you made me mine.”
The sweet juxtaposition of those two experiences got me thinking about our hearts and the ways they grow.
I think the pain we humans experience when we share our hearts – grief, hurt feelings, worry about the ones we love – prunes the muscle and allows it to grow.
I also think the very sharing of our hearts expands them reciprocally. Love grows love.
I hope a lot of heart planes fly your way this week, and that you take some time to send a few of your own out into this old world.