When I was growing up, we used to get bulb catalogs right about now. Yes, in the middle of winter, while the snow is blowing into drifts outside and gardening is the least likely activity of the day!
But oh, the flowers! Page after page of beauty in every shape, size and color.
Now is a good time to think about them; in fact, just trying to name my favorites puts a big smile on my face. Let’s see, there’s roses, violets, gladiolas, delphinium, lilies, daisies, hollihocks, petunias, pansies,…too many to list…and they’re all my favorites!
What is (are) your favorite(s)? Why?
I was looking through some articles I had found in preparation for a workshop on wellness. One of them was a cross-cultural study that measured the effects of laughter on well-being. It reminded me of an old bit of wisdom: “A merry heart does good like a medicine.” (Proverbs 17:22)
There are bunches of articles and books declaring that this is true, from stories of people watching funny movies to laugh their way out of depression to people living far longer than expected because they stayed cheerful through life-threatening illness.
What works for you?
Are you a comics reader – A daily dose of Charlie Brown or Farside keeps you going?
OR a joke book collector – One in every room, especially the bathroom?
Or is it vids for you?
Perhaps you don’t need any of these helps. I know people who can laugh, just because they decide to.
Then there is the kind of laugh:
Are you the quiet sort, who kind of chuckles under your breath?
Or one with a real guffaw?
perhaps yours is more like a bubbling creek that just trickles out of you; maybe you have a belly laugh that has everyone around you joining in.
Do you laugh at the drop of a hat; are you one who needs to warm up to it a little?
An interesting note in this one study I was reading is that moderate levels of laughter are the most beneficial: Too little or too much either had no effect or an adverse impact because it tended to set off bouts of respiratory problems. One thing is consistent, however, laughter clearly improves our health, from the inside out.
Have you taken your merriment medicine today?
In Fall it’s time to put to bed
All tender flowers
And gently spread
A blanket of mulch
To keep them warm;
While the icy winds blow
The world hardens, the ice and snow
Turns everything white,
Quiet and cold;
And people bask in firelight.
Beneath the winter snow there lies
A world of creatures,
Not dead, but alive.
They sleep and rest
Until the warmth of Spring
Awakens them and again they bring
Blossoms, and fragrance,
Buzzing of wings
To join in the music of life.
Oh birds and ants, all creatures know
It is time to fly
Or dig below
To prepare a place
For safe retreat
While strong icy fingers
Reach into cracks and cold lingers;
Then spring’s warm return
Joyfully brings her
Presence to cheer each heart so.