By Karen Best Wright, www.RaisingYourGrandchildren.com
I promised my granddaughters that today I would not work. We would get out of the house and go to the lake. A state park is not far from our home with a lake and small beach area for swimming. The girls played and swam, while I watched, relaxed, and read. I was feeling rather philosophical and decided to pay close attention to my senses. I listened, I watched, and I felt. What a beautiful experience.
As I listened, I could hear people talking in all directions. "Be nice, be nice now." I could hear one mother kindly speaking. Another asking, "Are you hungry?" A child asking, "Can I play with you? What's your name?" And in the distance, I could hear many indiscernible conversations. I could hear birds singing, the whistling of the breeze, and a motor of some sort far off behind me.
As I watched, I saw children playing, adults observing, reading, or talking together. I saw smiling faces, water splashing, and people in canoes, rowboats, and a kayak. I saw footprints in the sand, sandcastles half washed away by the water, and the beautiful huge trees that surrounded the lake.
Now to the feeling and essence of the experience - There was a sense of peacefulness, pleasantness, and rightness. I know “rightness” might seem like an odd word to use, but that is exactly how it felt. It felt “right.” I heard no arguing, contention, or any unpleasant sounds whatsoever. There were not a lot of people at the lake but enough that the sense of serenity and quietness was amazing.
I wished that everyone around the world could experience such gentleness among strangers. Even though I knew no one but my girls, no one felt like strangers for some odd reason. Since a state forest surrounds the lake, the feeling was one of total safety from the ugliness of the violence and anger that is being experienced around the world today.
Then tonight storms came. We watched the news on TV and the lightning that lit up the nighttime sky. A tornado had been spotted within a few miles of our home. We woke the girls up and brought them downstairs and curled up together wrapped in blankets and waited. Yet, I felt safe even with the lightning striking closer to our property.
My 6 year old asked, "Do tornadoes really pick houses up and move them?" That one was a hard one to answer without scaring her. She was worried about our outside cat that was curled up in the corner of the porch. If our house was picked up and moved, the porch would break off and hurt the cat. I assured her the cat would be fine.
The worst of the storm passed us by, and the girls returned to bed. I am sure tomorrow we will find branches and perhaps limbs out in the yard. We do after every storm. But tonight, even in the midst of a thunderstorm, there was a sense of peace, just like at the lake today. I wish everyday could feel this peaceful.