Their laughter is not self-conscious. Their laughter is not artificial or forced. Their laughter is full and real. Their laughter comes from someplace deep inside. Their laughter flows as laughter does in our moments of real happiness, or those moments when we discover the wonderful incongruities of life, or when we find that the impossible has become possible.
The laughter of Elizabeth and Mary is first of all their delight simply at seeing one another. Mary has come to visit her relative Elizabeth. Mary is the younger one – Elizabeth like an Aunt to her. It has probably been some time since they saw each other – too long – and now when they embrace they laugh with joy at the pleasure of being together. Of course we know, especially at this season perhaps, that it’s not always a joy to see relative. “Do we really have to visit them again this year?” But there are also always relatives and friends who we can’t wait to see, who we want to spend time with. And with them there is joy and laughter in catching up after a too-long absence.
Perhaps Elizabeth and Mary don’t laugh only on account of their joyful reunion. Perhaps they laugh also in their shared pregnancy. As they approach one another, their pregnancies become obvious to each other – and they are glad and cheerful at their shared expectation of a child. Elizabeth had thought she was too old to have a child, but here it is a reality. And Mary’s pregnancy is beyond her comprehension, but there is her belling getting larger by the day. The laugh together at the impossible possibility of these pregnancies. Continue reading