Almost everyone has played the child’s game Hide and Seek: the “It” person tries to find all the other players who have hidden from “It”. The game is not rocket science or brain surgery. Don’t you wonder what actual rocket scientists and brain surgeons say to each other? It’s not sentence diagraming or soil analysis? Back to Hide and Seek! The seeker has to count to an agreed upon # with their eyes closed, and everyone runs and hides. When the counting is done the seeker begins to seek. Child size bodies fit in much smaller hiding places than adults do and children can run faster too, so there is a measure of difficulty. Quick thinking was also important as the time frame for hiding was only minutes long.
We, meaning my brothers, sisters and a Roman Legion of cousins, took Hide and Seek up a notch and played it outside in the dark. We called it No Bears Out Tonight! Don’t think about bears! Our farm had a HUGE lawn, trees, bushes and out buildings so there were lots of places to hide. In the dark, alone and fearing lions and tigers and bears and bugs. I can still remember laying on my belly in the grass hoping and not hoping that I would be found before a monster got me. Living on the edge of fear and excitement was what was so much fun…
Smart phones and lap tops have put technology front and center in the adult version of Hide and Seek. There’s ghosting where a party hides from the other party by going silent on their phone: texts and phone calls are not returned. This is the easy way out of a relationship and very hurtful to the party being ghosted. The seeker seeks and does not find the hidden who has decided not to play anymore. On the opposite spectrum, cyber stalking is relentless negative contact seeking to frighten the other party. The threat is “You cannot hide from me!”. Of course we all know about hiding in plain sight: phubbing is eyes focused on the tiny screen of a phone hiding from personal contact with the person in front of you.
Flipping back and forth between being the seeker or the hidden is the normal state of affairs. When I close my front door and I am alone I usually sigh with relief . I want to be hidden for awhile, hidden from the demands of the day and the people who expect me to play my role. After my fill of peace and solitude I seek relationship with family and friends. I call my friend to see if she is up for taking the dogs for a walk, or call another friend to meet for coffee. I just did a mental zigzag and realized that “friend” and “fiend” are just 1 letter away from each other. My mind does work in odd ways.
“The Diary of Anne Frank” was one of my favorite books as a teenager. I was fascinated by how her family hid from the Nazis in the attic of a building and how Anne still wrote in her diary knowing that they could be found and killed at any moment. The confines of her hiding place did not stop her from seeking the best life had to offer her. I think I would call that courage.