Laughter--It Really Is the Best Medicine.

Giggles arose from the back seat of the van as we drove to our destination. Sweet, innocent, delightful sounds that indicated that Lucas found something humorous. It started in his throat and slowly, but surely, started to erupt from his belly until the whole car was filled with the sound. It didn’t take Ethan long to join in because as we all know, laughter is quite contagious. I have no idea what they were laughing about, but it brought a smile to my weary, worried face. It brought a moment of release and casting off of whatever it was that was bothering me at the moment. Upcoming shows, discipline issues, bills, traffic...many things can steal our laughter and our smiles.

Those little giggly boys reminded me that laughter is good and it is essential. I started to think back to all the ways we bring laughter into our home and how it does so much to re-center us on what is important.

We dance together.

The boys do silly antics and tell nonsensical jokes that sometimes bring us to tears.

We read funny stories or watch hilarious videos.

While I was preparing for the busy spring and summer season of art fairs and shows, I would collapse on the couch after working as a mom and artist for the last 12 hours and Tim would bring up little clips of comedians ( I highly recommend dry bar comedian club channel on youtube) and we would sit and laugh with each other. It was healing and restorative. I can’t explain the science of it, but I feel and know its benefits to not only my body, but also my mind and my soul.

I’ve been surrounded by laughter my entire life which is probably one of the reasons I love it so much. From my early childhood, I remember the gregarious and boisterous laughs of my grandparents when we gathered as a family. Both of my grandparents have loud, distinctive churtles and guffaws that erupt at surprising times. Put them together and it’s a storm that you can’t help but be engulfed in. My mother inherited their loud laugh as did my aunt and I have one of my own. I scare small children with it and the first time my son, Ethan, heard my entire family laughing together, he was terrified. He joins in these days and it’s looking like he will have a nice loud laugh of his own.

Because of my history with laughter, I’ve made it my mission to make those around me laugh. Not at the expense of someone else’s character or morality, but simple laughter about the innocent, humorous things that surround us in life. If I really enjoy someone’s laugh, I will do my best to create jokes, quips and witty remarks to beckon it back out as often as possible. If you are a snorter, look out, because that’s my favorite kind!

Why in the world do I spend time doing this? Because it’s healing for you and it’s healing for me. It reminds me that there is good in the world and things to enjoy. We become so overwhelmed with the bad and the hard, and our spirits wilt and degenerate when we choose to look at just the negative. We were made to enjoy the world around us and express strong positive emotion toward the things that delight our senses.

So, if you see a cow upside down in the sky in one of my paintings, or you see a quirky quote, it’s to make you smile and laugh. I hope you let yourself do that, because I want my art to bring life to those that view it. And laughter can be the spark that starts that fire.

What makes you laugh? How has laughter fed your soul lately?

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