Laughter medicine


After washing the dinner dishes last night, we pulled on our boots for a walk to the creek (some of us dressed more dramatically than others).

The sun was beginning to set, and the fields and forest were coming to life with evening song. We spied an expanse of vervain in an old sheep pasture in the distance, and set off to explore.



Do you know that moment when the sun has begun to set and the light is incomprehensibly warm and luminous in a way that only happens at that perfect moment of sunset and you feel glad just to be a witness to it?

That was the light as we stepped gingerly through the towering, volunteer medicinal garden. It was breathtaking. It was healing.

I felt awake and alive and full of light–in a way I hadn’t all day.


We slowed and savored.

There was time to marvel and just drink it all in. No where else to be, just the magic of now.

The hummingbird moth sipping nectar from a swamp milkweed; the snoozing bumblebees tucking in to the vervain flowers for the night; the mating monarchs winging past; the barred owls conversing in the hills–we stood in awe at it all.

It was a magical hour.


And then Lupine started counting: 1… 2… 3…

Hide-and-seek. I’d be lying if I told you I was eager to play at first, but as I lay there in the tall grass, beneath the dancing vervain whose medicine is to help us to relax, release, and unwind, I did just that. My eyes twinkling and wide open as I hid, just barely stifling a laugh, I listened to her footfalls as she searched for me in the grass.

We took turns, each of us hiding and seeking before the sun disappeared behind the western hills.

Oh, how we laughed!


At one point during our game, I found Pete lying in the grass, and both of us exploded in laughter.

“Promise me we’ll still do this when the kids are grown,” I said.

Because, oh, my yes… laughter is medicine to my soul.


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