Monday, May 23, 2011

Finding Peace


I was looking for peace. I just took my dog Pablo the Chihuahua out for a walk around the neighborhood and, between the exercise and the near-death experience brought on by an angry Irish Setter on the loose, I think we both got a lot out of it. Pablo got some serious cardio and a newfound realization that he isn't nearly as intimidating as he thinks he is (a hard life lesson for a Chihuahua). I got to breathe in some fresh air and feel an important connection to nature and the value of life... my own and my dog's.

One of the most peaceful people I've ever known was a religious man, a man of the cloth. He was the leader of his congregation when I knew him and I count him among the most influential people I've ever known. He used to say that his most spiritual moments came not in a house of worship and not among other people, but late at night when he took his dog outside for a walk. He said that having that time alone with his dog, walking in the darkness, he was able to reach a point of having an honest and satisfying conversation with God. Those moments gave him peace.

I'll never forget that lesson, that we can sometimes be surprised where we can find our own peace. My friend clued me in to the idea that we need to pay attention to the moments that come unexpectedly and allow us to look deep within ourselves and realize who we are in the world. And that these moments can bring us true peace.


  1. Todd, your post today really hit home with me. My sister and I often have discussions of a similar nature regarding what makes us happy in life, where and how we can find peace within ourselves. We sometimes poke fun at each other, but also marvel at the littlest things that give us joy. I love to walk around our family farm and take in the sights and sounds - it is very calming for me. My sister finds peace sitting on her deck with a cup of coffee. Seven years ago, upon hearing her breast cancer diagnosis, my sister was afraid she would not see her daughter get married, or live to spoil grandchildren. Seven years and many doctors and treatments later, she has the joy of going into debt for her daughter's wedding gown as well as rocking her first grandson to sleep, then staying in the same position for the duration of the nap so she "doesn't disturb him"..... It is awesome. And it is all in perspective.

    I, too, feel for the many people in Joplin who encountered devastation. My sister today is thinking of another mother who lost her 22 year old daughter this morning to cancer. That mother will not get to see her daughter get married. She will not get the privilege of going into debt for a wedding gown.

    I hope the people of Joplin, and I hope Shannon's mom can discover where and how they can find peace, and in time, where they can find joy.

  2. Susie, thank you for your comment. It's gratifying to know that we're on the same wavelength (as it seems we always are) and are experiencing similar moments in life. What I hope is that this blog will give me a chance to share what I've been thinking and hopefully hear what my friends have been thinking like I did with you. And if we can experience peace knowing that we're sharing a common journey, then it's all icing on the cake.

  3. Todd, I, too, find peace in walking in nature. I remember a day several years ago when I was walking along a path in a park and the breeze was blowing ever so gently. I looked up and watched this 30 foot tall tree blowing in the breeze. As I walked I came upon a large boulder that was sitting just off the path. I parked myself on that boulder and watched the trees dance. It was a magical moment which I cherish to this day.

  4. Patricia, those are the moments I hope I'll be able to notice when they present themselves. I need to remind myself to always be watchful.

  5. Hey Todd, I changed my profile so hopefully I will show as Patty from now on. Being called Patricia sends me back to my childhood when I was in trouble! Have a great Memorial Day and a real last day of the year tomorrow! pc

  6. I wondered if that was you, Patty. By the way, the photo of the tree today was inspired by your comment about dancing trees - in case you hadn't guessed already.

    Have a great day tomorrow too.