You can't play volleyball with rules. You just can't! Not at a church picnic at the beach or the park. So we didn't. A rabble on this side of the net, a roughly-equal rabble on the other. No one kept track of "rotations" for serving. No one posited the silly little idea of keeping score. That's how you're supposed to play volleyball with a bunch of friends.
This afternoon we had church in the park, a most wonderful idea (and one that I've missed from my church back home). After an afternoon of volleyball, horseshoes, and softball, stopping little kids from accidentally squashing other little kids in the rented "bounce thing," alongside just sitting in the shade and talking, we had a sumptuous potluck picnic. Singing among the trees and grass once the service got underway . . . trying to pay attention to Pastor as the birds tried equally to grasp our attention . . .
These are the things I grew up with. I grew up with a hundred or so people heading down to the park, grabbing a huge swath of back-end real estate, and parking grill after grill just barely out of range of the makeshift volleyball courts. I remember the hot summer days spent running about and sitting with the "grown-ups" trying to act grown-up myself, and of course the food and more food!
And it's been too long since I played volleyball without rules.