Saturday, January 05, 2008


Most of my readers know by now that Emery and I are avid hikers. We try to get out on the trails as often as we can. Tomorrow we have a big hike planned, its more than exercise for us, its part of the balance we seek in our lives. While we hike, we chat some, walk in silence some and listen to the sounds around us. Running water is by far the most enjoyable sound for both of us. There is for us, a tender touch of tranquility when we sit by water that runs over rocks, be it in a meandering stream or a rushing river. We seek out moments where tranquility can be found.
In the modern world, where so many aspects of life seem urgent, rushed and stuffed with pressure, tranquility is perhaps much like an endangered species, few people ever see it.
I have beautiful memories of some of the more extraordinary tranquil moments in my life. I can sit quietly and relive them through memories and while I think on these special moments, I become calmer and more peaceful. I so well remember the first time I hiked into Bridal Veil Falls in New Hampshire. At the falls, the fall colors, so vivid, the sky so blue and the falls, breathtaking...although they were not quiet, there was still a feeling of tranquility in this place that has stayed with me for decades, and each time this spot was revisited, the same feelings filled me. It was a holiness. Sitting by the Sea of Galilee in the pitch blackness of the early morning, awaiting the sun to come up was another spot of perfect tranquility. Small boats with little lights dotted the little sea as fishermen cast their nets into the black waters of the night as they have done for hundreds of years. At waters edge you could hear the water lapping on the shore line. Tranquility of profound proportions. But there are also moments of profound proportions that take place at home.
Late night, rocking chair, a sleeping babe in my arms, the realization that this moment was a once in a life time thing. There would be many more like it, but never this exact moment ever again. The sweet breath of an infant held close, the child of "life's longing for itself ", as Gibran wrights. Tiny fingers curled around mine, little sleeping lips that make that sweet sucking motion although nothing but air lay by her mouth, her tummy full and sleep painted on her face like the cherubs of the great masterpieces. In that moment of weariness, I found tranquility that has been with me for a quarter of a century. Timeless when recounted. Today, Emery at work, the house filled with quiet in all the corners and wide spaces. Sunlight filling the rooms through windows not hindered by curtains or blinds. Blue sky the valance, browns and greens the colors of natures drapes that fly and flutter on the outside of the window. Tea in a big beaker next to me, sweetened with agave nectar. Natural. A ripple in the pond of my personal tranquility this morning. Bare feet against the chilly floor, the sound of wind, a bit more than a gentle breeze but not that moaning, lonely sound wind can make. My thoughts, my companions today. This kind of tranquility seeking takes a clear mind to see and feel and acknowledge. You can't be all filled with worries, anxiety, pressure, and have with you this mental list of things waiting to be done, or what should have been done. Those things need to be put down, put aside for a while, laid by the waters edge, even if that waters edge has to be imaginary. Take a moment in time to be refreshed, to make memories of tranquility that you can call upon when waiting in line someplace, when you start that hamster wheel of "things to be done" thinking. Make your moments of waiting, moments of tranquility.

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