Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Peaceful Rose of Sharon

   When you feel peaceful, does that feeling have a color? Or a texture, or a fragrance, or a sound? Does your inner peace taste like anything you can describe? When you remember your peace at a needful moment, do you contrast it against a certain pain to enhance the pleasure, or is it strong enough on its own?

  Gardens personify peace and beauty for me, as do both sparkling cleanliness and coconut cream pie. And also perfect coffee. Sunsets, especially when they can be enjoyed at leisure, following plenty of satisfying work, are symphonic in their expression of peace. Feeling and savoring that sweet, buttery, succulent, breezy, warm, perfumed, humming, musical, sparkling nucleus of peacefulness is a gift. Peace is a gift I do not take lightly in the face of so many storms in life.

   For a while I felt incredible guilt in celebrating sensuality so much, in noticing, craving, and magnifying the physical details of this world as much as I loved to do, as if they could somehow steal richness and gravity from the spiritual rivers that run around and through us. But then I felt and accepted that every spiritual urging seemed to have a physical parallel, or at least a physical expression. A sensual translation exists for every unseen emotion I have ever felt, how about you? 

   And so it goes with peace. Thankfully, the spectrum of colors and flavors and other wonderful expressions of peace are vast. Tonight, as I watched the sun sink behind the back field and the dense storm clouds gathered for a second night in a row, I caught a glimpse of  the dark pink Rose of Sharon right outside my kitchen window. Despite the storm, she stands here resolutely, gracefully, in full bloom. 

   Mahatma Gandhi once said, "Each one has to find his peace from within. And peace, to be real, must be unaffected by outside circumstances." Clearly we are not islands. We are very much affected by outside circumstances and we also can be or bring about the outside circumstances that affect others. But finding and celebrating inner peace that flows and radiates despite difficulties, this is beautiful.

   The Lazy W is not without storms, both meteorological and spiritual. But we have been blessed with an abundance of beauty and peace. We have our eyes open to the ocean of grace and creation from which we came ourselves. And we know that while storms are always brewing, so is life and so is peace. I don't have to look very far to be reminded and comforted by a thousand physical expressions of Love.

"Peace is its own reward."


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