I am on a rocky beach that overlooks the ocean. Islands loom large on the horizon and snow-capped mountains stand tall in the distance. It is a sunny warm day with only a faint breeze. The scent of salt water and seaweed lingers as I sit under the shade of magnificent pine trees, watching two preschool-aged children play together. They giggle and laugh as they direct one another with endless ideas for moving pebbles and water. Their stream of activities eventually leads to hunger and the call for snacks.
The little boy holds a tube of yogurt which he squeezes with delight, anticipating his sweet treat. To his surprise, the yogurt bursts forth suddenly from the tube like a mini geyser and lands with a splat on the little girl’s head. The little girl wails. Her mother tries to hold back her laughter as she lovingly wipes up the yogurt with her fingers. She tries to console her daughter by saying “It’s just like lotion!” Unfortunately, this did not ease the little girl’s discomfort as she continued to wail. Her cry echoed along the beach for a few minutes more until it stopped. Then the little boy cried. His cry was less audible but he too was visibly upset. His mother picked him up and tried to comfort him with a tender embrace and kind words. She held him like his baby brother, only his limbs almost touched the ground. When the tears were all done, the two children returned to playing together. They played happily until it was time to go and ended with a lively run through a grassy meadow, each taking turns chasing one another amidst gales of infectious laughter. Oh, to be a child again!
Whether tears are from joy or pain, there is significance in honouring emotions. It is a natural and healthy release of the human body. The act of crying is as natural as laughing. Tears offer tremendous healing power as these two children so clearly demonstrated. Tears are liberating and free us to live more fully and joy-fully!