Teach us Delight in simple things,
And Mirth that has no bitter springs.
THE “MIRTH” ASSOCIATED WITH THE PRESENT SEASON IS AN EXAMPLE OF ONE OF THE SIMPLEST AND PUREST PLEASURES IN THE WORLD. When we’ve worked hard for many months and accomplished some worthwhile things, and then we come to a well-earned time of gladness and gaiety, the pleasant satisfaction that results is a great part of the good life. It’s not a complicated thing. It need not cost any money. It’s just a simple pleasure, one of life’s treats.
The word “mirth” suggests lightheartedness and easy laughter. Times of mirth are those that dance and sing. They’re upbeat and effervescent. They lay aside, for a little while, the need for ponderous thought and take delight in the give-and-take of friendly, good-natured banter. To be creatures capable of mirth is a marvelous thing!
The most “mirthful” times are often unplanned occasions when everything lines up just right to produce a few lighthearted moments. Unfortunately, we’re sometimes so anxious for everybody to “have a good time,” that we program all the mirth out of our get-togethers by our organization and regimentation. Sometimes, we need to loosen up and give mirth a fair chance to make its appearance.
There is, however, one thing we can do to plan for mirth and that is to clear the way for it in our hearts. We can choose to lay aside ill will and unfriendliness. Neither the grouch nor the grudge-bearer can enjoy much mirth, not even at a party or a traditional celebration. So if we’re guilty of grudge-bearing, this is a good time of the year to repent of our ill will and open our hearts to a little lightheartedness.
One thing we tend to forget, to our detriment, is that the moment for mirth is very often the present moment. Mirth is not a thing that we “get around to” after we’ve solved our problems. To the contrary, it appears at certain times — usually when certain people have gathered together — and then it disappears if we don’t have the good sense to enjoy it while we can. Mirth is not a thing that can be procrastinated. So don’t wait for next year. Enjoy the next few days!
What is love? ’tis not hereafter;
Present mirth hath present laughter.