Once again, CalmKate has gone and made me very thoughtful about things. Her Friday Foto Fun prompt topic is “Serenity.” She asks us to seek out a photo that represents what serenity means to us. Her own photo shows a warm, inviting beach with “surf, sand, sky, and scrubs.” Beautiful!
Serenity to me is peacefulness. The feeling of safety is key to my serenity. I went for many years never feeling safe – and it’s a hard habit to break. Nevertheless, I am able to feel safe now in certain places if conditions are right.
For example, the early morning hours, still dark, are a special time to me. At that time, usually around 5 a.m., I am awake, alert, calm, centered – usually, anyway. I’ll go get a cup of coffee, and head back to bed, where I sit quietly in the dark, just being. My friend, the cat, knows this routine and shares it with me. He curls up and nestles in to keep me warm, exuding a feeling of peace and safety as he softly purrs his joy. That’s serenity.
Serenity often also comes to me while walking in natural spaces. The silence of a forest is like breathing. The trees themselves are entities, wise angels along the way, friends. Mountain paths, too, are places of serenity. The sky, the birds, squirrels, wind – it all speaks peace to me.
A small pond also sets the stage for serenity. The evidence that it is home in the truest sense for any number of inhabitants – fish, frogs, insects, birds, turtles, beaver, muskrats, snakes – makes it an intimate visit with friends. It is a quiet pause in my own activities, while I sit at their table, so to speak, and quietly watch them doing their thing in the water, among the trees, the grasses, and reeds. That, that is serenity. I used to have a pond I loved, and it was a truly special place for such a feeling.
Another moment of serenity is when I am hand sewing without distraction. The methodical rhythm of blanket-stitching my penny rugs is serenity. I love the tactile experience, feeling the fabric, using my hands. I love seeing the colors of the fabrics. I love the focus, the intention of the piece. I can’t do it just anywhere, but the places where I can, I find serenity.
Oddly enough, small, general aviation airports are also often places of serenity for me if I can experience them undisturbed and alone. I like to just watch the runways, the windsock, the comings and goings of the small planes. I always feel a tremendous sense of possibility during these periods of quiet observation. I used to be a regular at one airport where I often retreated during a stressful time. I frequently just sat in my car and watched, but they also thoughtfully provided a few nice benches where folks like me could perch.
Art galleries, too, are usually places of serenity. Surrounded by all that quiet creativity, just soaking it in, is usually a peaceful, calming experience – although, not always. Some artists bring an energy to their work that disturbs a space, and I am sure it is meant to be that way.
A garden is a place of peace and joy, too. Walk into the garden, and everything else falls away. Like the pond, a garden has a life of its own. There, I become a quiet witness to life unfolding in the most beautiful, astonishing ways.
Once again, I am grateful for this prompt. It has brought to mind so many ideas, so many possibilities for what works. It’s so easy to feel distracted, unsettled, as we go with the flow of doing what we must. But this little reverie of mine shows me how easy it is to escape all that, too. There are many opportunities to find a moment of serenity.