Finding Peace at the End of the Day

I might have written about this before.  Oh well.  I’ve been blogging for almost seven months now; I’m bound to repeat myself.  I feel like I should apologize here….

It’s been a lovely day.  But it’s been a long day.  I have spent about eleven hours at work.  I helped with a presentation this morning, attended two professional development sessions, and then helped with the fee night at the school.  Not a big deal, but the hours that fell away from me eventually became noticeable as I watched the afternoon sky slowly deepen in color as the sun fell from its zenith and slid towards the horizon.

Wait a minute….where did the day go?

As I left the school building with a colleague (who is also a very special friend), we stepped away from the brick and mortar building and saw the sun surging with its beautiful incandescence.  Sun set was upon us and we mutually agreed to sit on a bench and just watch the brilliance sink into the night.  As we sat on the bench, we talked….either about life, about death, about change and the way that it is created.  Most of all, at moments, we didn’t talk and just lived in a very pure, very simple moment that was nothing more than a warm summer evening in which a golden-peach sun slipped beyond the horizon and the sky became a calico quilt of color and texture.

Driving home, I rolled down my window and draped my arm out the window.  I listened to a local jazz station and felt nothing more than the quiet of the evening saturate my bones, felt any stress that might have been holding onto my skin leak out and fall away from me.

At home, the front porch that I had finished painting on Sunday, the porch swing waited for me.  Even better, once I pulled up and had shut off my car, the front door opened and my beloved son walked down the steps to see if I needed any help with unloading my car (not that I had anything).  The Boy is usually absorbed by television or the narcotic effects of video gaming.  So for him to take some time and come out to greet me..well…it meant the world to me.  When I realized that he and my husband had moved my porch swing, I lightly wrapped my arm around the Boy’s shoulders, a bit of an awkward sideways hug, and thanked him.  He works so hard to make me happy and, frequently, I feel like I fail at noticing all the little things that he does to give me joy.

Inside the house, dinner waited for me.  The Boy and the Girl had made biscuits and gravy for dinner; unwittingly, I had eaten pizza at the school so I wasn’t hungry.  However, I pulled out the cherry butter I had bought the weekend before (after an incredible time hiking) and started slathering up the biscuits and luxuriating in the tart, cinnamonny cherry butter, feeling like I was riding on the culinary edge of summer and fall.

Currently, the Girl is playing on her iPad.  Ugly-Cat is perched on the edge of the recliner-sofa and the Boy has gone to bed already.  My husband in nestled in our bed, watching television and everything is in a state of rightness.

I don’t need huge ceremony in order to find peace and contentment.  I don’t need flashy displays, floral arrangements, or…well….much of anything.  At this point, I am content because I am curled up in my favorite chair while writing.  Earlier today, contentment was found through the kind words of a colleague who told me that she enjoyed reading my blog (thank you, by the way).  Knowing that my writing has found an audience is a powerful source of peace.

Peace is in the quiet prayers that flutter though my mind when….well…almost anything.  Seeing a beautiful sunset, hearing a bird song, being with my family.  Peace is in the angle of my daughter’s hug, the arch of my son’s smile, the pressure of my husband’s hand when he curls my fingers into his own.  Contentment is walking out into the school building on a gorgeous morning and knowing that I am doing what I am supposed to do, what I have been created to do.

Contentment is overcoming my fears, is finding my self-confidence.

Contentment is in the sound of my hiking boots hitting a hiking path or my silent footfall on a wet, sandy beach.  Contentment is in the hissing of the fishing reel when I cast the line and it swings in a perfect arch over the water.

I have my peace at the end of the day.  At least today.  I know that as this year elapses, I will have bad days, days when I will want to hide my head under my pillow and just seethe or cry or feel absolute nothingness and lose myself into a blissful numbness.

But, right now, I have my sense of peace at the end of the day.

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