I have a clear memory of my grandmother pulling weeds in her backyard. It was late summer because the branches of the plum tree behind her hung rich with purple-black fruit. Pink and white and bright orange oriental poppies fluttered in a border and the grass sparkled the emerald green of a rainy Pacific Northwest summer. The day shimmered with the silvery afternoon light seen after a hard rain.
I’m feeling silly today, Grandma said. And then she pressed the top of her gray head onto the soft grass and turned a somersault. Her back slammed into the wet grass and water sprayed in an arc around her. She pushed herself to her feet, her backside covered in green-black mud, winked over her shoulder at me and went in the house to take a shower.
Holy smoke, an old lady turning a somersault. I laughed ’till I puked. Of course, Grandma was probably fifty at the time. A really, really old woman. And, honesty requires that I tell you she’d been known to have a few nips, but my point is. . .
Grandma knew how to be silly.
That’s a talent I’ve lost recently. And that’s a damn shame.
What with writing and promoting and blogging and everything else I’ve convinced myself is so important, I haven’t been silly in ages. I miss it. Haven’t turned a somersault since I stopped scuba diving. (It’s a much easier maneuver under water)
So, help me out here. What does an woman of a certain age do for silliness? All I can come up with is to crank up the old time rock and roll and dance around the house while the dog blinks at me like I’ve lost my mind.
That’s gotta be more possibilities than that!
What do you do to be silly? And when’s the last time you WERE silly. Are you like me and its been so long ago, you’ve forgotten the feeling? That can’t be good.
I hereby vow to be silly at least once a week. How’s that for good mental health? Now, please, I’m beggin’ you. What can an old woman do to be silly?