What comes to your mind when you think of 'Real Peace'? Being calm, tranquil, and serene? Ideally, yes; yet due to circumstances, and especially in the midst of this busy Season, our lives can be frazzled and very stressful. The following legend is one that I discovered many years ago, and read as a dialogue at a Candlelight Service. Recently I came across another version with a similar intent, both suggesting a way to keep peace in our hearts, even in the midst of angst. I share my original story with you, and regret being unable to discover the author of either adaptation. It goes like this:
There once was a King who offered a prize to the artist who would paint the best picture of peace. Many artists tried. The King looked at all the pictures, but there were only two he really liked and he had to choose between them.
One picture was a calm lake. The lake was a perfect mirror for the peaceful, tree-covered towering mountains that surrounded it. Overhead was blue sky with fluffy white clouds. All who saw this picture thought that it was a perfect picture of peace.
The other picture had mountains too, but these were rugged and bare. Above was an angry sky from which rain fell and in which lightening played. Down the side of the mountain tumbled a foaming waterfall. This did not look peaceful at all.
But when the King looked closely, he saw behind the waterfall a tiny bush growing in a crack in the rock. In the bush a mother bird had built her nest. There, in the midst of the rush of the angry water sat the mother bird on her nest ... perfect peace!
Which picture do you think won the prize? The King chose the second picture. 'Because', explained the King, 'peace does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble, or hard work. Peace means to be in the midst of all those things and still be calm in your heart. That is the real meaning of peace.'
I know that some of us have experienced losses and changes in direction over the recent past, resulting in sadness, which is very real, and painful. But, please also acknowledge yourself for your resilience and strength in coping, and developing new skills in the process. Do bring to mind some 'magical moments' that continue to warm your heart and create a feeling of contentment; they can be something large or small, like looking at a sunset, connecting with a friend, listening to beautiful music, or perhaps a humorous experience.
The Little Book of Lykke (Luu-kah), by Meik Wiking, CEO of the Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen, was my recent library book, which suggested a feeling of happiness is a personal and individual experience, and that, ideally, we can all bring a little more lykke into our lives. For Cadi, my calico cat, it is fascination with birds outside our window, being brushed ... or sleeping! My current lykke, in later evening, is watching a Christmas movie or the crackling fireplace on television, or listening to Amira Willighagen, the young singer I discovered recently and introduced in my October message. I share with you links for the beautiful Ave Maria and O Holy Night that were part of her 2015 concert. May they give you as much joy as they do me.
I appreciate and thank you for your interest in Innisfree's Moments. May you continue to have many 'magical moments', and remember that you never walk alone. May the music and lights of this special time give you hope and joy, and be your Dove of Real Peace in the days ahead.
Until me meet again in 2018, when I hope we will continue our journey together, from my heart to yours, blessèd be!
Rev. Dorothy Blandford, Ph.D
Apt. 202 - 1655 Martin Drive
Surrey, BC, V4A 6E1, Canada