Stepping Into Peace
It's December, and the Christmas rush is upon us; There are wonderful celebrations to plan and attend, a tree to put up and decorate, a house to clean and decorate, and cookies to bake and decorate! Sometimes it is hard to find the peace that is supposed to be the main focus of the season. When I find myself starting to go under in the waves of too much stress, I try to remember to take a step back and find the quiet.
To let go of stress and step into peace is like stepping into a sturdy canoe in the wee hours of the morning and letting yourself follow the shoreline of a river; not in any rush to reach a destination, but just enjoying the quiet conversation of your surroundings, and being grateful to the river for allowing you to ride along in its sparkling currents.
For a brief time, you and your thoughts are taking an intimate journey together, leaving all of your baggage, including your shoes, behind on the shore.
Finding My Smile
The gentle movements of a Tai Chi session this morning had me
Watching the flow of my hands,
And once again, I felt there the wooden caress of a paddle;
I was stepping into my mental canoe,
Slipping away on daydreams
Of early morning escapes
Beside a gentle river bank,
Feeling the solitude as I float downstream across flat water,
Free of man-made sounds in their various forms;
I close my eyes,
Enjoying the rocking of the canoe,
trusting the gentle movement of the river
to carry me along wherever it is going;
I feel again the water washing around my toes as I invite some of it aboard with every stroke of my paddle;
My memory took a deep breath and there it was: the wonderful atmosphere;
Smells of algae, fish, flowers,
And the sounds of nature; frogs, birds, and various forms of flying tag-a-longs who found it amusing to play tag on my hat and hide-and-seek around my ankles - taking the occasional nibble;
I grabbed hold of that spiritual oar of freedom,
Gave it a mental pull,
- And I smiled.
My hands, now resting,
Palms up, in peace.
Whether your 'peace escape' is in a mental canoe, a quiet chapel, or laying in the arms of a frosty but all-accepting snow angel, may you find your own way to step into peace, find your smile, and leave your heavy baggage behind on the shore.
Wishing you all peace this Christmas and far beyond.