The feeling of peace seems so elusive to us—especially these days. Days of endless deadlines, the higher cost of everything and media bombardment of tragic situations we are powerless to do anything about. Why is it that we cannot just shut it all off and get that much needed and very necessary relief? I know how hard it is for me to step away from my phone for fear of missing a call from someone who may need me. I also know the stress of the dreaded April 15th deadline and all the new tax laws that apparently are more of a hindrance than a help.
Several years ago, I decided to attempt to combat the bombardment of these stressful assaults. With camera in hand, I took my place among nature with the hope of a great epiphany. What I found was tooth-grinding frustration. The SD card in my camera decided to malfunction after taking several pictures of tranquil cows grazing in the field. After about 20 minutes of internal negative dialogue about the incident, I decided to continue along my way to a choral presentation I had heard was about an hour away. This would surely be the ticket to the halcyon my soul was craving.
Along the way I encountered traffic, slow drivers, and a GPS that had had it in for me for years; but alas, I arrived at the last vestige for a peaceful day. Once inside, I was met with beautiful stained-glass windows and the smell of incense from past church services. I had arrived, found my peace. Sigh…….. But then it began! The man who would not stop clearing his throat, a couple who decided they needed to offer a review of what they had just heard after each piece of music and the late comers excusing themselves while looking for seats. I was once again asking myself, “where do I find this state of pure bliss?” But I noticed something. There was a woman in front of me who was swaying slowly to the beautiful melodies. Her eyes were closed and she wore a slight smile as her lips were mouthing the words along with the choir. She too was surrounded by the same disturbances as me, yet she did not seem to notice. How could this be? As I focused more on her blissful state of being, I found myself enjoying not only the music but hearing it through another perspective; the perspective of someone who was focused and filled with the spirit of the music, the spirit of the moment. She was not concerned with what the people around her might be thinking of her, she was uniquely herself.
What did I learn from this experience? I learned that it is within each of us to find our own peace in the midst of perceived chaos. I also learned that, very possibly, just being comfortable in our own unique nature, “our own drummer,” as the saying goes, might bring us the most peace.