Saturday, August 22, 2009

a paean to belly laughs and sister chats

I learned a new word today. Well not really dates back to 1589, but new to me.

Paean. Pronounced \pē-un\ as in "Mom, don't come in the bathroom, I'm peein'!" { Betcha won't forget how to pronounce it now. :)}

It means a tribute, thanksgiving, a work that praises or honors its subject, a joyous song or hymn of praise.

A nice seldom used word. Try to slip it into your conversation sometime in the next couple of days.

I spent the evening with my mom {and dad and kids} visiting my mom's sister {and her grand kids and great grand kids}.

I sat out on the edge of a backyard bluff, with hawks soaring on the wind (truly) and young deer folded down into the tall yellow grasses underneath scrub oak trees, knitting and listening to the ebb and flow of a sister to sister chat over the background of children playing {sometimes squabbling}. Occasionally I joined in the conversation, when I had something to say, but over all I was just relaxed to knit and listen. I enjoyed how the conversation weaved in and out around this family member, that bit of news, this church event, that child or grandchild, and looped around to Jesus and his work, and future and death, and books and the dimension of heaven, and belief and faith. I saw my papa, normally choosing not to engage in most conversations, come alive when his opinion was asked on this biblical point or that one. Did not matter whether we agreed wholeheartedly, or varied our opinions on a particular point, I loved that his soul came alive with the topic (and our interest in his views) and that it was as natural to talk about Jesus and the life beyond this one, as it was to talk about our children's schools, and jobs and their latest passions. (Puzzles, soccer, and the WII).

Comfortable, real and family. Loved it.

On the way home, I can't even remember how it exactly came up, but my mom and I made an inside joke over a shared point of conversation....and although we could not explain it when asked (by my 11 year old son)....we cracked ourselves up resulting in a real, hold your tummy laugh!!!! It has been so long since I belly laughed. It felt good.

You have to be deeply relaxed and stress free, content to laugh that hard. Does that mean I have been the opposite of that for a long time? {Am I uptight, stressed and discontent?} I am not sure, but it has been far too long since I laughed like that. My mom and I use to make each other laugh like that a lot. But not a lot lately. I think we are both too busy worrying about the other person {how is she doing, is she really ok, her life is so hard} and worrying about our own lives {how am I doing, I am not sure I’m ok, this is so hard}, that we have lost our sense of humor in the middle of the stresses of life.

I hope {in addition to this awareness of the need for relaxation} that the 1000 Blessing “project” will help bring some of that humor and joy back.

I also realized that conversation and relaxation take time. You can't rush them. You can't say, “OK, now, for the next 15 minutes I am going to be totally relaxed.” Or, “I am going to have a quality chat with this person. Oh, boy what ever will we talk about and how will I fill all the pauses?” It doesn't work that way. It takes unstructured chunks of time; as in stop the clock, drop the to-do list, erase the schedule and just be—to relax and have real conversation.

For me, knitting is a relaxer. A slow methodical clicking of the needles, yarn over, slip off, yarn over, click, click. The repetition and gentleness of knitting, the softness of the yarn, the satisfaction of growing rows.

So this is my paean to the belly laugh and to enjoying my mom and her sister having a relaxing chat. I am blessed to have shared in both.

To top it off, it just started raining. I heard it through my open window, grabbed my cell phone, went out to the backyard in my pajamas, raised my face skyward and called my mom. “Hey it’s raining!” She replied “I’m going out to the backyard.”

I pray you have a relaxing Sunday and a good laugh.

1 Things Others Said:

Tricia Thompson said...

Hey Sandee,

This is Tricia from Thank you so much for you comment on my posts. I don't update my blog too often. I need to get better! I will as my LID nears for my Maggie. I love your site! Precious. Take care and God Bless.