Serenity Found, by Patricia Ebeling

There lies a need in all of us to find peace and solitude in our lives, if even for a moment. We yearn to find a place to be alone, to enjoy the beauty around us. We yearn for simplicity and quiet. Life is hectic and noisy. It is full of drama and chaos. When we find that place, we treasure it. We go to it when we need to be comforted by the beauty around us, shutting out all that makes life a challenge. I have found such a place. It is in my own backyard. My secret place can be found on the shore of our lake at sunrise. In a way, the lake is like my mother. The tranquility I feel here is nurturing to my soul.

As I sat on a pier, dangling my feet in the cool water, on one warm fall morning, I gazed upon a scene only God could create. I looked out over the lake. I beheld a breathtaking scene. Just above the horizon, there was what looked like flames of hot, flamingo pink streaking across the azure blue of the early morning sky. At that moment, I wished I had a camera in hand to capture this beauty. The waters of the lake were like a mirror, reflecting the breathless scene before me. All the stars were gone, except for the three little sparkling stars that had refused to leave. Maybe, they weren’t sleepy or perhaps, they did not want to miss the rising sun? Just at that moment, the sun rose with its magnificent splendor. It appeared to be coming out of the lake. The sun looked like a sheet of diamonds. I couldn’t help but think that this glorious sight was upon me to give me hope of a better day.

I continued sitting on the pier. I couldn’t leave. I had become used to the water. The water felt refreshing against my feet. For a moment, I was tempted to jump in and take a swim. As I dangled my feet, a rush of memories filled my heart. The memories of summers spent with my grandmother at her lake home. I remembered fishing with a cane pole, swimming in an inner tube and drinking Pepsi cola out of a bottle. These summer memories have always brought me peace and happiness. They were a place in my heart to go when I needed to feel calm and loved.

All of a sudden, my attention was drawn to the geese and ducks on the beach. The sun seemed to have awakened the birds. There was a family of geese walking in a single line. As I watched them, I noticed how regal and even haughty they seemed. They walked stiff–like soldiers, their tall necks held high. This family of geese stayed in a straight line, even as they entered the water. I remembered thinking how serene they were. The geese seemed quiet, strong, and disciplined as they swam and fished for breakfast. Suddenly, the quiet was broken. I saw a little silver fox. He was frantically running up and down the beach. The fox was barking at a family of ducks out for their morning swim. Quacking was the only response the fox received. If the fox was inviting them to breakfast, they were turning him down. Watching this scene made me laugh. For a moment, my day was made a little brighter, a little happier.

Just as I was ready to leave, I noticed a unique bird on the beach. I had never seen a bird such as this. I wondered what had happened to its original emerald green and jet black feathers.  What I saw was a mesmerizing white duck. The duck was white, like the color of soft, fresh snow. Even its webbed feet were white, It is believed that white signifies peace, comfort and joy. Perhaps God sent him to let me know that in order to find peace in our world; we need to find peace in ourselves. Finding the place within ourselves or in the beauty of a sunrise will open our hearts and sooth our minds to make each day happier and fuller.

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