I was thinking about buttons and ran into Kika of the luminous smile. I told her I’d had buttons on my mind and she told me she is a Zen sewing instructor.

“Did you ever play Button Button Who’s Got the Button?” I asked, realizing instantly that she is at least 20 years my junior and it was a game for children much older than I am.  I was lucky to catch it at the end of its arc through Kidland.

“How do you play?” she asked.

I placed my palms – smelling slightly of vanilla – in a prayer position but horizontal, sticking out from my waist. I indicated she should do the same and she did. We were standing right in the middle of the dirt path near the Tassajara bathhouse.

“Button button who’s got the button,” I said and slipped my fingers between hers, sliding my hands back towards myself as she observed.

I explained. One person has the button and performs the hand slide maneuver with everyone in a circle.  The goal of the button holder is to prevent other players from seeing into which set of palms the button is deposited. The goal of the guessers is to deduce who in the circle of praying hands received it.

Such a funny, sweet game.

I didn’t understand it when I was very small. But once I learned it I was keen, yearning, always ready at Sunday school to be the one placing the secret button. Going around the circle, looking into each person’s eyes to say, “Will you be the one to hold my secret?”

Photo Credit: Couleur 

I lead writing workshops in the Bay Area, and spend much of my so-called free time writing. To support my avocation (and my family) I sell residential real estate in San Francisco; for more about that visit RealEstateTherapy.org or CynthiaCummins.com.