Thursday, February 28, 2008

The Best Medicine

It seems to me there has been an unusual lack of sun in Northern Michigan this winter. It has felt exceptionally drab and dreary. My observation was confirmed last night on the evening news. 120 inches of snow makes for a lot of overcast skies. 

But wait! There are hints that something is breaking loose. This too-long quite winter is getting noisy. I hear a giggle coming from the woods around my home. Could it be the longer daylight is beginning to make a difference? I think so. It's starting with the red squirrels and the blue jays. They have always been the leaders. They're taking personally the job of waking up the woods. They've been here all winter. And just a week ago, they were scurrying and flitting about, quietly and seriously searching for food. Now they sit on the tree outside my bedroom window with no other purpose but to chuckle. By March, today's chuckles will become guffaws as everyone gets in on the act.

I can take a hint. I can make my own sunshine. So each day I will sit quietly and let the laughter come to me. I’ll let it bubble up from the bottom like a long-suppressed, runaway spring. I’ll let the corners of my mouth turn up and the fizzy turn into involuntary giggles. I won't turn back. I don't even need something to laugh about. All it takes is a willingness to risk losing a little control. Laughter is free. And it takes nothing away from the seriousness of other activities. We don't need to delay laughter for an earned day off.

Can I become as contagious as those rowdy jays and disruptive red squirrels? Can I pull in the curious who will be unable to leave me without their own little chuckle? I hope so. The jays and squirrels have brightened my surroundings and broken the long silence of winter. I'm eager to pass it on.

Take some time each day to laugh out loud and let the gifts that laughter brings come to you. Then snatch up those gifts and giggle at what has presented itself. The world outside you and the world inside you will appreciate it.

"At the height of laughter, the universe is flung into a kaleidoscope of new possibilities." ~Jean Houston

"Laughter is the sun that drives winter from the human face." ~Victor Hugo

"Even if there is nothing to laugh about, laugh on credit." ~Author Unknown

"When people are laughing, they're generally not killing each other." ~Alan Alda