Peace in the Creek

There’s something about green leaves around a watery pool that melts my heart. Must have something to do with all those summers in the Catskills, climbing up to the waterfalls.

Our little family finally caught COVID. I say finally because it felt inevitable and, sure enough, we caught it on our vacation out west.

It was a strange and terrible virus for us. We were as sick as we’ve ever been.

Isolation can always be hard.

With three little kids, we came to a point at which some of us had finished coughing and feeling crummy, while others had lingering symptoms.

We were in need of sunshine, the outdoors, and a return to something normal to raise spirits and take in vitamin D. In the midst of a heat wave, I tried to think of a quiet, isolated place for us to go.

Thankfully, the Brandywine River runs through our town (and several towns surrounding us). It wasn’t too hard to find an empty parking lot where we could walk to a creek access point for some gentle splashing and wading.

Bingo.

I never felt better in my life.

There was no one around. The shade and cool running water were intoxicating. We’ve been so blessed with membership to a swimming pool this summer that I nearly forgot about the magic of the creek.

Nature is an elixir.

Returning to nature felt like a return to ourselves.

I made sure not to spend too much time in the heat. I made sure to limit our playtime so as not to tire anyone out or push us too much.

But the water was so healing. The quiet babble of the water over stones, the birds chirping, a car driving in the distance; it all seemed to take us away from ourselves.

It was so joyful. And so peaceful. And everyone smiled and laughed and played for what felt like the first time in a long time.

What brought you peace this week? Share the peace!

Peace in Paddle Boating

Photo by Osman u00d6zu00fcmu00fct on Pexels.com

Recently, Hubs took all three kiddos out on a paddle boat. It was so fun to see them learning this new activity. None of them has tried it before. Paddling, steering, floating, all in a tiny boat intended for two, stuffed like a burrito with Hubs and three little bobbing heads.

They were so curious and interested. They were so determined to learn the rules of this process. They must have been asking themselves:

  • How fast do we need to pedal?
  • How does this steering work?
  • How can we go faster?
  • Will we hit the dock?
  • Who’s turn is it next?

Watching this process brought me supreme joy. Knowing there was no destination ahead of them felt even more delicious. No need to go from one end of the lake to the other. No need to race. No need to explore every inch of the shore. No need for anything but play.

It struck me, almost immediately, that this is what life is all about. This is where we find the peace of our incredible universe. In “play.” In “time.” When we remove the need for some kind of outcome, things fall into place.

It left me grateful and peaceful.

What brought you peace this week? Share the peace!

Peace in Their Happiness

I’ve read plenty of books that espouse the idea that happiness exclusively comes from within. Deep joy and satisfaction come from the light inside each of us and it is our job to nourish and develop that solitary, individual light. In other words— depend only on yourself to seek and find happiness.

In spite of this, there are exceptions to everything. Lots of times, deep seated joy comes from I’m others. Today, I found peace and joy in the light brought forth from my children.

It was the first day of summer camps for my boys this week. They are both finally at an age when their independence is FUN. Doing things without Mommy is interesting and exciting now.

Knowing this made me excited for camp week. But I was surprised to find the greatest peace rushed into my heart after camp pickups. Both boys had so many exciting things to report back. Their adventures were abundant, new, and full of energy. They have stories to share— and plenty of them.

My heart rested into that peaceful space I think many mothers know well. When your children are thriving and happy and encouraged and enthusiastic all on their own. I don’t feel pride that I’ve somehow raised them to appreciate things. Pride doesn’t feel like the right word at all.

It’s peace.

I feel total peace knowing that my kids are finding themselves. Knowing that they are learning and growing into themselves in a way that makes them feel wonderful.

This week, I’m grateful and at peace knowing that my kids are learning to find joy on their own. And that is pretty special.

What brought you peace this week? Share the peace!

Peace in the Maze

The maze begins just to the left!!!

Hubs and I took the kids to Williamsburg for spring break this year. We love the Burg and I am always slightly shocked at how much this town feels like home, as soon as we arrive. The air smells like home. Was it the tulips? Maybe the hyacinth? Maybe it’s The Cheese Shop. (I may have been dreaming of a roast beef sandwich with house dressing prior to our arrival.)

This year we paced ourselves differently.

What a gift!

What a blessing!

To create a general idea of what we’d like to do and then allow the needs of the kids to breathe life into each day was incredible. While I wanted to make time for Busch Gardens and Colonial Williamsburg, I truly let the kids decide what they’d like to explore. The fluidity of this plan was LIBERATING.

By week’s end, the children’s favorite feature was the Hedge Maze behind the Governor’s Palace. They ran and ran and worked to memorize it. The hedges are tall and the kids could not see anything but the path in front of them. They could shout to one another, asking for clues about which way to turn.

How blissful. How peaceful. How present we needed to be to focus on the maze!

I could have followed them into the maze, but realized quickly I would lose them. Their speed and dexterity were just incredible to watch. And I had an easier time seeing everyone from the eagle’s eye view just above the maze.

It’s that just the greatest metaphor for life? It can be easier to guide others when you sit back and watch from a better vantage point. How many times have I dove headfirst into my kids’ problems? Only to get upset right along with them and lose my focus?

The kids invented games in the maze. They established new rules for each journey through. Then they added in a game of tag! It was a-maze-ing. In every sense. I got a little rest on a bench in the shade and I listened to their big plans. I laughed to myself and reminisced about the triathlon we alumni completed before graduation (if we were lucky).

Joy. Joy. Joy.

I’ve never felt more relaxed and grateful during my time on a vacation. I was thankful to have my family around, to experience new things, and to watch the kids love the experience so much. You can bet your bottom we returned to the hedge maze a day later, and more joy ensued.

What brought you peace this week? Share the peace!