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Belly laughter, a deep hearty laugh. Of all my accomplishments in life, I think I am most proud of being able to laugh, to wholeheartedly experience amusement and joy. How wonderful it is that my lungs could be filled with air, the type of air that can shape sounds and dispatch joy.  The rejoicing of the immeasurable chaos the minute we overlapped in details of our lives.  That ringing laughter is spread and mirrored across the room, any room, full of people. To be aware, that taking credit for this accomplishment is taking credit for good humor and bonhomie that did not wither in face of immense lose and incessant pandemic.

As far as I can remember, my love of laughter and giggles began since I was a toddler, I was known for being a happy one, the dancer.  When I was two years old demanding my mother to play Freeze Dance with me and getting some giggles out when the music stops. My mom maintains that my love affair with dancing and “being silly” before then, when I made my father laugh by babbling the words, he wanted me to repeat then laughing at myself for babbling. Whatever the case, laughter has come alive for me the moment I realized how these sounds and face gestures will hold a story that will never cease to connect us into a singular moment. I probably don’t deserve all the credit, I owe it to my parents, siblings, friends, and even strangers who poured a catalog of sounds into my infant ears until I fell in love with that specific sound, willfully warming up to the intuitive sentiment of human connection.

I’ve been grieving the loss of forgotten treasures, like a stranger’s smile when they nod on the street or a friend’s hug after awaited reunion. I think about the loss, but this unwavering faith in humanity makes me hold on to the accomplishment of the little joyful moments. My heart goes out to everyone suffering in silence through loss and isolation, but I hear this ordinary beauty in the ethereal bursts of laughter.

Sarah Ahmed

Marquette '21

An engineer with a creative twist.
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