Laughter Keeps Us Young!
Our days have been so different these past couple of years and some of us may have forgotten to laugh and appreciate the little things. We have not been able to see our loved ones the way we have wanted too, graduates have not had their big parties and so much more has changed that is a new normal for us. Yes, life is slowly getting better for everyone and hopefully, soon we can enjoy some special hugs again, but today I was reminded how much laughter is a great healer, especially when we cannot get much of those hugs in. And I for one love my hugs.
We may sometimes forget laughter is deep inside of us and we only need to start off with a smile and keep on going. This day was hot and muggy, one of those days where you just want to laze around, given the heat. I thought maybe I would get some boring chores done. But as I looked at my walls and the marks left behind after moving some furniture, I decided to brave the hot steamy weather and pick up some paint. A fresh coat would hide those ugly marks and make the place look cleaner.
The heat does not bother me, nor does the hot sun. In fact, I am one of these crazy people who love being outside even in the sweltering heat, however, I am finding that is changing slightly as I get older, but I am going to enjoy it as long as I can. The sun is one of those things that puts a smile on my face, and I love to feel it’s warmth on my skin as it gently kisses me with love and sends so much more love to everyone else in the world. For where would we be without it?
As I walked out the door, I could hear a bird singing and looking around, I spotted it, high up in one of the trees. It was a vibrant red and I suspected it was a male cardinal with its distinctive crest on top of its head. It was so beautiful, and I just watched it singing for a while. A big smile spread across my face as I enjoyed the richness of the sounds of nature around me.
Getting into my car, I did not even bother with the air conditioner. I prefer to feel the heat of the sun instead of the cold air, but I had to quickly turn down my windows so I could breathe. The inside of my car was very hot. Thankfully, there was a bit of a breeze as I drove, otherwise the air conditioner would have to come on.
Returning home from my errands I figured it would be a quiet night. But I noticed my friend had left me a message, so I called her back, wondering what she was up to.
She was in line ready to pick strawberries. By herself. She did not need anyone else to have fun. She knew what would bring her joy today and off she went on her own. She also was not going to let the heat stop her. “Come join me”, she said, as we spoke. “I’m in line, but I will wait for you. We get a tractor ride into the field too”, she added. “Whoot, whoot!” She was so excited.
I had the paint in my trunk and some other items too, but nothing that would spoil in the heat. It was going to be hard for me to pick strawberries, given my mobility issues these days. Maybe I could just walk with my friend as she had suggested. I did not even have running shoes with me, but sandals with just two straps, holding on to each foot. For some reason, however, when I left home earlier, I had this nagging thought to take another pair of walking shoes with me that were not as flimsy. They were not exactly, shoes to walk in a strawberry field with but they were better than the flimsier summer shoes I had on.
I was a little tired from my running around and I noticed I was trying to talk myself out of this. Nope, I was going to have fun today, I told myself. None of this boring me today. I decided I was not going to let a pair of shoes stand in my joy. You betcha, I thought. I’m in. “I’m coming”, I told my friend. “I’ll be there in five minutes.” Of course, there was a line up of cars, but the Universe blessed me, and I found a parking spot where my friend had parked and not far from the entrance to the place. Off I went to look for her. Finding her easily, I stood in line to pay for my own small cardboard box that would hold my precious strawberries. And not just any strawberries, but organic strawberries.
I had never been on a tractor ride and although it was a bit bumpy, it was fun. Getting to our destination we got off and found a spot to start picking our strawberries. When we were standing in line earlier, waiting for the tractor to come and pick us up, we felt a few drops of water fall from the sky, but it stopped. It was not supposed to rain until later that day, but it seemed Mother Nature was upping the time.
My friend and I picked strawberries for about an hour. It was the last day for picking, so there was not much there, but we basked in the abundance of what we found anyway, tiny as the strawberries were, blessing each one, knowing it was all going towards making some jam, or other special treat for those we love.
Hearing rain falling up ahead, I looked up and could see it was coming our way. It was falling hard and heavy and I knew we were going to get soaked once it got to us. I could barley see the field in front of us because of how much rain was falling. It was like a wall.
We were in a huge open field. There was no shelter, nowhere to run, no hat or umbrella to shield us. And of course, no jackets with us given the hot day. The rain came and just as I thought it was a doozie. Within minutes we were soaked. It was like we had just jumped in the pool with our clothes on. Most of the people in the field began making their way towards the spot where the tractor would pick us up. But a few of us stayed and kept picking in the rain, like it was still a sunny day. We were laughing, not allowing the rain to put a damper on our day. We figured, we were already wet, we were here and hey, at least our strawberries got washed.
My friend looked at me and asked if I wanted to turn back. “Nope”, I said, “We might as well enjoy what nature has to give us.” “Yup”, my friend agreed. As we looked around at the other few that dared to stick around, we were all having a good time and just kept laughing, knowing how crazy we must have looked. I am sure, my hair which is half curly, half frizzy and half whatever it wants to do, must have made me look crazy, but we were there, having fun, two long time, good friends, enjoying each others company. The rain only added more laughter considering, we would still continue to pick our beautiful strawberries even after getting so wet.
But, as we kept picking, my cardboard box began to fall apart and it was soon apparent, as I clutched the box closer to me, I needed to turn back, or I was not going to have anything to come home with. My friend turned back with me, her box beginning to fall apart too. As we waited for the tractor, I was losing strawberries. I had red strawberry juice all over my arms, my legs, my purse. And my top was all red from clutching the strawberries close to me.
I usually have a small bag with me for groceries, but my purse was small, and I did not have anything like that with me. But what I did have were two sets of clean rubber gloves. As I waited for the tractor to arrive, I began putting my strawberries inside the gloves. I figured, maybe I could save a few of them at least. “Great idea”, my friend said as she helped me fill them, both of us laughing.
When the tractor came to pick us up, they brought us new baskets, so we were able to salvage what we had picked. Everyone continued to get on the tractor, ready for the ride back. My friend looked at me, I looked at her and after a few words, we both turned around and headed back into the field. We had new baskets so we could keep picking.
As we worked away, my friend burst out laughing. You know what she was laughing at? The fact that I was filling my plastic gloves to save my strawberries. The fact that two middle aged women were in a field picking strawberries during a heavy downpouring of rain instead of heading back to our cars, but instead headed back out to the field. The younger groups had all turned back, but not us.
I came home still soaking wet, using a plastic bag I had in my car to cover my seat as I drove. The plastic bag that would have helped if I had it out in the field with me earlier. Most people would probably say it was a horrible day, or the day was great until the rain came. I say, it was a magnificent day, made better by the rain, which got us laughing and walking in the mud as we picked strawberries. And the best part was that after all that, we were able to not only bring home some beautiful strawberries for our family but also a couple of strawberry, rhubarb pies we picked up in the bakery section of the place. My friend shared an amazing jam recipe with me and for the first time, I made strawberry, rhubarb jam with those strawberries. Plus, the smile and enjoyment on my families face as they dug into those strawberries and that pie was all worth the trip.
As was the precious time spent between two, long time good friends. You can’t beat laugher to make you feel good, even when you are down. Laughter is heard everywhere, even at somber events, because there is always some joyous moment. Maybe remembering some good times in the past, or a young child smiling or laughing.
Laughter warms our hearts and keeps us healthy. Laughter keeps us young. Laugh a little more when you want to cry. Find the beauty in life’s simple pleasures and be grateful for all that is around you. You would be surprised how different you look at life when you see with your heart.
Author S R John
Ghost Detective The Magic Ruby
Life Coach - Caring for the Caregiver
Volunteer Ontario Caregivers
Married to a man with Bipolar. Caregiver to family. My own health scare has been challenging. We forget to take care of ourselves.