When I’m outside in the springtime near running water and tall trees, it’s like the space inside me opens up and doubles somehow. I don’t know how to explain it, but I bet some of you know what I mean.
I’ve found a favorite spot just 10 or 15 minutes from home, at Port Royal State Park. I think the drive through the Tennessee countryside might be the best part for me. No pictures because I was navigating that winding road. You can imagine it: As you drive you see stately new mansions, juxtaposed against old, charming farm homes with rusty, beautiful barns; all nested harmoniously into the green rolling hills dotted with cattle. Really beautiful.
The park is small but there’s a nice place for skipping rocks, and there’s an old bridge support that makes a nice climbing wall.
The tranquility I feel is usually broken at some point by a certain 9 year old little girl who has a very strong fear of bees, wasps, and basically anything with wings. So often when we’re outside, my peaceful feeling of listening to the river or watching the branches blow in the breeze is broken up by her screams; and isn’t that just like life? I can let that ruin my time, or I can feel grateful that it’s me she runs to in her fear. It takes a deep breath and a refocusing of priorities; but I can comfort her and help turn her heart toward courage if I chose to do so. Sometimes I do it well, and sometimes my frustration and attitude of “This again? Get over it girl and stop interrupting my peace” comes through loud and clear.
I’m learning that if my “peace” is that easily rattled, perhaps it’s no peace at all. If is, after all, just a wasp.