Life at its best can best be defined as time spent with excellent company, making people laugh, sharing fun. In short, it is bringing joy to people for a short space so that they may forget their troubles for a time. We all have ‘troubles’. We all have ‘worries’. God has blessed we humans with the ability to laugh and I do believe it is the greatest natural medicine that the creator has bestowed upon us. I have at times taken myself and my fragile ego in life so seriously that I have dried up all my rivers of fun to play in thus creating a ‘drought’ of laughter. It is a very sad spot to be in when the rivers of mirth and sharing dry up, leaving one a husk and so full of gall that they honestly have forgotten that our time here is too brief to be this way for an instant! Sadness abounds. Anger abounds. Hurt abounds. Loneliness abounds. But we have in our possession emotional ‘shovels’ or tools to dig ditches so that we may again have reservoirs of laughter.
Primarily the way I have found that this rejuvenation can appear is with the spirit of gratitude, compassion and sharing ones time. The cruelest form of hurt in my estimation, is the refusal of a person who is valued by another to unjustly ostracize elders in their lives. It is a form of enforced and unjust solitude to an elderly person that I believe God frowns very hard upon. It is true we have the freedom of choice but we do not pick our family: God does that for us and it is for a reason. Aside from those unhappy souls who decide to ‘excise’ people who would love them if they were allowed, we gravitate toward those who share a childlike heart. A love of commonality that is brought about by love of entertaining. To the shriveled up drought ridden souls of the world, this is ‘nonsense’ and a ‘waste of time’. Thank God I have never grown up and to me this is freedom beyond belief! Give me like minded folks who do not over emphasize their importance in the scheme of things, that can laugh at themselves with others and share humor and pathos together!
I absolutely love sharing my time with those who will let me be myself, warts and all! THAT is life at its best. No one is perfect although some would think they are the exception to the rule. We need to be kinder to each other in general and I include myself in that statement. I could always find a way to be kinder. Usually the most tightly wound, drought ridden person is more in need of the waters of kindness than any other.
At Snee Haw: Viva Sneed Vegas Saturday, June 13, I shared the stage with some wonderfully talented and vivacious people. Also folks who were filling in for those who either could not or would not come to help with joviality and gusto, even though they were helping out behind the scenes originally! Every mode of life was present there in harmony with children turning flips, mimicking Elvis, dads playing the drums with their sons who made excellent music, a virtuoso on the guitar performing songs from his favorite singer and gospel music harmonized beautifully! There were light hearted jokes told by a run on reporter who was ‘Outstanding in her Field’. Two friends who sniped at one another between beautiful on the air moments. People who took up admission after working all day and volunteers who fixed concessions despite being injured and having sciatica for months. People coming together to clean up after the show: put up chairs, roll mats off the floor, sweep, take props home and back to the Theater classroom, store and pack up food from concessions! There were smiles all around in the audience who also pitched in to help. All were people who had lost loved ones that week performing to bring a smile of life during a dark time in our small community.
Life at its best? Laughter, life and love. God bless our community and those who wish to give back to this beautiful place during our short journey among the folks here. The only thing I love more than the place I live is the ones who have already gone to rest here. The land and God holds them. It will one day hold me when my work is done and like my great great grandfather, Andrew Jackson Russell said while lining his own grave with limestone in the Old Bray Cemetery, ” ‘ A body can sure sleep fine here!’ ” I love my home town and I love the people in it – this has been my definition of ‘Life at its Best’.