I decided to play along, this week, with Anne’s Neighborhood Week.
I thought it was a pretty wonderful idea, considering that I sometimes have to work a little to remember why I love my neighborhood. I’m a suburbanite, by default, and I moan about it with some regularity.
All in all though, if you must have a neighborhood, ours isn’t half bad. It’s within miles of my old high school, my first job, the backstreets where I learned to drive a stick shift, the place where I met my husband. It is not lost on me that our home and our neighborhood are the landscape of mine and my husband’s childhoods. I believe that it’s rare, and wonderful that it will also be the setting of our sons’ stories.
So, for me, it will be a good exercise to spend some time acknowledging the things that make this a great place to be.
The first assignment was to find and document “peace” in our surroundings.
I find this highly comical. Peace? Peace for a person plopped among strip malls and toll roads? Peace for a mother of three sons?
I thought long and hard about where I find peace, and then it came to me, literally, while driving down the road. Some leaves caught my eye and I stopped talking, stopped hearing and just breathed. For a moment, all was well, because there are leaves along the curbs. There was a quiet gift of momentary peace in that.
You know how sometimes, in movies, the main character will be somewhere loud – a busy street, a restaurant, a subway, and he will see something? All of a sudden the place goes quiet, you can hear only his heartbeat. For a brief few seconds, everything moves in slow motion. Then, WHAM, the noise is back, deafening, and the world around him moves at a normal pace again, but you know that he is changed. Do you know those scenes?
Well that is my relationship to peace.
I cannot find it. It finds me.
For just a second, a fraction of a second, something utterly mundane will appear extraordinarily beautiful, and I breath more slowly, stop and look a while, before the sound of little voices brings me back to my chaotic life.
For just that moment, I hear only my heartbeat, and bask in something forgotten for a season, that shows itself once more.
There is peace in knowing that while our little place in the world is being hemmed in closer everyday by chains, quite literally, some things do not change. Some things cannot be squelched.
There are yet songs being sung.
There are yet summits and sunsets.
Wishing you peace this Monday and the rest of your week!