Shirin McArthur

prayerful pondering

Reconnecting with Joy and Laughter

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Last weekend I led a pair of workshops for a women’s retreat at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church in Tucson. The keynote speaker, Lesley Abrams, is both a clergywoman and a comedienne, and she certainly had us laughing. She also had us focused on reconnecting with joy, and that lightheartedness has stayed with me over the week.

img_3421The weather has also cooled off enough that Henry and I have started walking again in the mornings. Some of the things that have reconnected me with joy and laughter this week are the various ways our neighborhood families are decorating their houses and yards for Halloween. This is my favorite so far, being more creative than most. It’s also a reminder to me that laughter can erupt out of the very earth if we will just bend our minds in that direction….

I tend to be a pretty serious person. As this blog aptly illustrates, I think deeply and widely, focus on making spiritual connections, and generally ponder the weighty matters related to finding meaning in life. And—this week I’m being reminded of the need for balance in my life: for laughter, joy, dance, and beauty.

One of the places I’m finding beauty right now is not in autumn leaves (the only plant around here that seems to put on a bit of autumn color is the ocotillo, whose leaves turn yellow and drop off when the weather dries out). Instead, the desert is again—or still—in bloom. I’ve not previously thought about autumn as the season for blossoms, but that’s another way that life is different in the Sonoran Desert. (If you want to see photos of the various blooms I’m encountering this week, I invite you to follow my Instagram feed, or catch them on Facebook.)

If you are also one of those people who tends to think deeply and seriously, I invite you to seek lightheartedness this week. All the children out trick-or-treating tomorrow provide a great opportunity (if you live in the US) to reconnect with the lighthearted joy of young children. Fall festivals and carnivals provide other opportunities for joy and laughter. And if you tend toward lightheartedness naturally, thank you for providing those opportunities for people like me to lighten up! May my other posts help you find some serious balance in your daily life.

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