In My Neighborhood :: Peace

by Stefani on 7-October-2007

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.

Curbside

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.

Without A Net

For just that moment, I hear only my heartbeat, and bask in something forgotten for a season, that shows itself once more.

Orange

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.

Trio

There are yet summits and sunsets.

Jungle Gym

Wishing you peace this Monday and the rest of your week!

Sarah Jackson October 7, 2007 at 8:12 pm

I really love this and sympathize with the difficulty of seeking out peace. I’m glad to see that it finds you in unexpected ways.

Anne October 7, 2007 at 8:47 pm

This post is lovely, or should I say “peaceful.” I think you are right, it finds you. I love all of the photos, but especially the birds.

Ellie October 8, 2007 at 4:53 am

You have such a wonderful way of capturing clouds and sky. Every image is beautiful, speaking in silence. I do love the way that peace just creeps up and happens. We’ve had a lovely big thunderstorm tonight, and the rain has finished – everyone asleep, quiet in the streets. Moments of peace. (When I tell Ari that I just want him to be quiet so I can have a moment’s peace and quiet, he says ‘what’s peace Mummy?’, and continues babbling. So, yes, constantly seeking it).

Ali October 8, 2007 at 5:16 am

What wonderful words (and pictures). Peace sounds like a great goal.

kristin October 8, 2007 at 5:28 am

i’m off to let peace find me…
and to listen to my heartbeat.

Tracy October 8, 2007 at 5:31 am

I have a very similar relationship to peace. I definitely cannot find it, it finds me. And it stops me in my tracks for a brief moment, and then my world rushes on. I love those moments…I have been noticing the leaves in the gutters too, and wanting to take a picture of them.

Beautiful images, Stefani.

Katherine October 8, 2007 at 5:32 am

Found your blog a couple of weeks ago and I am loving it! Thank you for this lovely little slice of Mommy Life. I’ve linked to you, if that’s ok. Wow, I just left Texas last year, only to return home and realise that Texas Chickas have got it going on!

randi October 8, 2007 at 6:32 am

Lovely photos. The gate with the berries is my favorite.

I happened to post about peacefulness today too. I didn’t know about photo week, but managed to be on topic anyway!

j October 8, 2007 at 9:55 am

great photos. I love one of the birds, too.

Di October 8, 2007 at 11:15 am

I love the sentiments in your post – particularly the fact that you never find peace but that peace finds you – I posted the beach near my home as the peaceful spot because I agree in the city it is hard to find peace!!

Jade October 8, 2007 at 12:39 pm

Beautiful photos. I love the post and it helps me to stop and look for the little things instead of getting overwhelmed with the chaos that sometimes surrounds us. Thanks Stefani!

Marjorie October 8, 2007 at 1:51 pm

I love that last photo! playground equipment?

emilyruth October 8, 2007 at 2:03 pm

so lovely…thanks:)

Grace October 8, 2007 at 6:11 pm

this post just rocks, stefani! i adore those photos, especially the berries!

xoxox

EvaB October 8, 2007 at 6:30 pm

Thank you for your sharing your peace with me today.

Molly October 8, 2007 at 7:06 pm

Peace can surely be elusive, especially in the current climate. It’s nice to be able to step outside and be greeted by the peace that surrounds us IF we can hear it’s silent whisper.

Lisa October 8, 2007 at 9:47 pm

Lovely post. I particularly like that last shot.

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