Listen to this story on the Wild Creation Stories podcast here:

There once was a little girl who laughed. At everything.

Her parents were amused at first; it was awfully cute and earned compliments. 

Then it became Too Much, and they told her to stop.

So she did.

The little girl learned what was “appropriate” for laughter and what wasn’t. 

People loved her smile. They loved her joy. As long as she kept it in its proper place.

She learned to hide her joy when it got too big so that it didn’t scare anyone.

People didn’t know that she was always bubbling with laughter — even when someone got sick or died — because everything was so beautiful it was impossible not to be delighted by it.

One day the girl went looking for herself and found that she was GONE.

“Who will I be without myself?” 

She was terrified and for the very first time, she couldn’t find her laugh.

She searched and searched to no avail. Her self was gone. And so was her laughter.

Then she remembered something her grandmother said long ago when the girl was trying hard not to laugh at something.

“Child,” she said. “You can’t stop being you. You’re always perfectly being what you are in this moment.”

The girl wondered now if that might be true.

She looked for her self again and found that it did not exist. 

But what WAS here?

Trees and flowers. Birds and people. Cement trucks and ceiling fans.

A whole world of sensations, sights, sounds, smells, tastes.

The world was so full.

And even though she wasn’t really there, the girl had this FEELING that she was — which was kind of funny when she didn’t think about it so much.

She laughed. At first, a giggle, then a chuckle, then a tumult of riotous laughter.

She knew her self as the space of experience and never needed to look for herself, or her laugh, again.