A few years ago, after returning from nearly a decade abroad, the better part of it in the bush in Malawi, I asked a friend of mine who has been more “hip” than I since junior high, “What’s ‘lmao’?” She “lhao’ed” as she updated me on tech slang.
Yesterday, my son and I donned the snow shoes we’ve been loaned for the duration of our stay here at Tall Timber and set out. Walking in snow shoes resembles a 1930’s reel of a fifty-foot tall robot clunking through New York City, leaving bus-sized footprints in the concrete.
As I stepped over a fallen branch, the heel of the snow shoe caught vertically in the snow then rolled sideways, taking me with it. I fell like a tree trunk and laid there laughing. When Solomon came over to help me up, his snow shoes got tangled in mine and he fell on top of me. By this time, my laughter had breached the dam, completely out of control, gushing unstoppable. I lay there helpless, shrieking, tears pouring off the side of my face, at one point shaking and completely silent, unable to draw a breath.
Finally the torrent was spent.
I am one of millions who use the laughing “emoji,” (another urban dictionary term my years with no electricity had left me ignorant of). However, it had been years, perhaps a decade or two, since I had laughed so hard that I literally couldn’t breathe.
How I miss that authentic, embodied joy!