Posts Tagged ‘serenity’

Serene is sure a feeling that can escape us when we’ve got a lot on our plate. And lately, this photo is what’s been bringing me back to some semblance of serene.

Beautiful orcas in a sea of calm. I feel like perhaps they are dreaming. Diving, resting and just breathing in the night air. The last few weeks have been far too busy with one thing or another and although I know – we all do – that from time to time, it’s just how life is, I found myself longing for a touch of the serenity I see in this photo. I found myself wishing I could weave among them as kin where they would welcome me, not be afraid, and just share with me whatever they know and feel in the moment captured above.

“They were watching, out there past men’s knowing, where stars are drowning and whales ferry their vast souls through the black and seamless sea.”
~ Cormac McCarthy

But this period of so much going on has had its up-side, too.  I have been on a real reading tear, loving diving into one book after another, middle grade, adult, picture books, no matter. Perhaps these books have all given me the respite I needed, new places to go, people to know, situations that grabbed my attention and heightened sensation. What a rich world books bring us.

OK, change of plans. I’ll sit on an outcropping of rocks next to the orcas, they with their dreams, me with my book, one in spirit under a full moon. Join me?


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Recent events have me pondering … journaling … rather than recording my thoughts in a public forum. As you are well aware, there are times in our lives when we have to take certain events and look at them from every angle, trying to get them in some comfortable spot so we can live with them, especially since there’s nothing we can do to change them. And aye, there’s the rub.

I am not good at helpless. I am particularly not good at helpless watching another – in this case, an animal – who is suffering, and for whom I can do nothing. There are times when we really have to come to grips with whatever it is and accept our own limitations in action regardless of how our hearts are reaching out. In all the years I have been involved with animals, rescuing and healing them, and, depending on the circumstances, finding them homes, those situations that have been the most painful have been those where I could do nothing.

I have been told many times along the way that it was not/is not my responsibility to save everyone .. or every animal … that each of them, like each of us, is on his or her own journey, and I can only do as much as I can do. Whatever the issue is, and it may be different for many of us – animals, children, the elderly, loved ones, those persecuted unjustly for any reason, anyone suffering – if we have a heart, we want to do something … make it better.

But sometimes the change has to be within ourselves. To accept our limitations and to understand that our inability to alter one circumstance does not mean we are failing … it only means that sometimes, despite our desire, it is not ours to change.

So I have found myself thinking a lot of the Serenity Prayer, written by twentieth century American theologian, Reinhold Niebuhr. As short as it is, it is brilliant and to the point. I’m sure you are familiar with it.

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change;
The courage to change the things I can;
And the wisdom to know the difference.

I believe that sometimes we need to accept that just being who we are is enough. And that sometimes, achieving that may be a lifelong lesson given to us again and again until we finally know it to be true.

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