They Both Laughed – The Mountains Rang with It: Is Laughter Best with Someone Else?


About 45 years ago, I read Leaf by Niggle, which was written by J.R.R. Tolkien. In many ways, I identified with the story, and over the years, I have thought about it often. Many times, I have quoted the last line of the story, “They both laughed. Laughed–the Mountains Rang with It!”

Read the story Leaf by Niggle Here

It has been years since I have laughed so completely and so deeply that I have felt that nature itself was laughing with me. Perhaps I have never felt that kind of joy. That seems like Nirvana to me.

Today’s writing challenge is for me to write about the last time that something was so funny that it caused me to have a deep, loud, belly laugh, and I have to admit that I am drawing a blank. I began thinking about the times that I have laughed myself into tears and I believe that when that has happened before, I was always with someone else.  In short, my best laughs have been group laughs–rather like group hugs–they are something that requires someone else.

Laughter is contagious. I find many things to be humorous, and I chuckle and smile quite often. But chuckling is not a deep laugh. When I am with someone else and we both see something funny, we both may begin with a chuckle and then we begin responding to each other’s response. I laugh harder because the other person laughs harder, and the cycle begins. Ultimately, we are wiping the tears of laughter from the corners of our eyes.

I don’t know that I have ever experienced that kind of deep laughter when I am alone, and I am alone most of the time now. Even so, when I am by myself, I continue to chuckle and to smile. Sometimes my smiling is alive and tingly, and it circles through my body and it warms my very being. When that happens, I am very close to Niggle’s state, when he sat amidst the hills and he felt that the mountains laughed with him. I aspire toward that kind of happiness–a peaceful happiness when I know that I am laughing with my world.

©Jacki Kellum January 31, 2016

Roaring Laughter


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