Perfect Peace

I had a dream several years ago. In my dream I was trying to catch a train to go to the airport but the train left five minutes earlier than I expected so I missed it. However, there was a very friendly porter who helped me get a cab to the airport. He also gave me a blanket. I didn’t want the blanket but he insisted; so I took it. As I held it in my arms I buried my face in the thick, soft piles and, for a moment, felt perfect peace. The rest of the world disappeared; the train I had just missed no longer mattered; I just smiled.

That got me thinking about peace–inner peace. Have I ever felt “perfect peace” just after I’ve missed one of the many trains in my life? The answer to that is a definite “no”. I’m too busy worrying about the event which is past and over which I no longer have any control. Or I’m too busy trying to fix it. Will the next train get me there in time? How will I ever make my plane?

But what about “perfect peace” on a lazy Sunday evening? Sounds easy, right? You’ve finished mowing the yard, the dogs are laying on the back patio, and you’re sitting in a lawn chair watching the sun set while drinking freshly squeezed lemon aide. Isn’t this a “perfectly peaceful” moment? Or are you really thinking about what else needs to be done to the house and the yard; what you need to do for work tomorrow; what you didn’t get done last week; how the car needs to be serviced. Before you know it, the sun has set and you missed the fireworks in the clouds.

This reminds me of when I was little and my family would watch I Love Lucy or Bonanza together. I had to go to bed right after the show and that deadline was on my mind the entire time. I’d be watching the clock instead of enjoying Lucy’s crazy antics or wondering how Hoss would get himself out of that spot of trouble he was in this week. I was so focused on not wanting that moment of togetherness to end that I totally missed the moment. I was so busy counting down the minutes until we went our separate ways that I forgot to enjoy the minutes we did have together.

We need to enjoy the peaceful moments we have for just what they are–peaceful moments. The next time you miss the train and have to wait for the next one or your next appointment is late or you get to class a few minutes early, instead of thinking about what else you need to get done today, just sit there and imagine you’re holding a thick, soft blanket. Then bury your face in the blanket and just smile.

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