As May comes to a close, June is looming on the horizon. Unlike most people, my mind no longer associates June with the summer solstice or schools releasing their wards for two months of frolicking or even weekend days at the beach. For the past fifteen years, the month of June has brought distasteful thoughts of auditors, excessive work loads, and fiscal year end deadlines. And every year, there is a tipping point where daily normal shifts to year end insanity. Today is that day. And it’s not even June yet!
When my son was younger, I would de-stress by joining his Scout troop on weekend campouts and hikes through the woods. I find so much peace when I’m surrounded by nature. Unfortunately, my son is a young man now, and no longer in Scouts. And life’s obligations have interfered with camping weekends. However, I do have my memories. In the midst of balancing spreadsheets and auditing expenses, I can picture myself lying on my back, looking up at the towering trees shading my tent, listening to the breeze rustle the leaves in a calming whoosh song. Or I can imagine I’m sitting by a babbling brook, willing the stress to wash downstream with the cascading water.
But memories aren’t quite the same thing as being there, are they? I hunger for that touch with nature – that visceral experience of plant and tree, earth and sky. Yet I don’t have to go on a weekend campout or a day hike to find it. I now have an oasis of peace in my own backyard. Within my garden, I find the earthy smell of forest soil, the cheerful melody of bird song, the whisper touch of a summer breeze all under an azure canopy. Within my garden, I find life. Always changing, growing, producing wonders of seed and fruit, my garden is a constant treasure of botanical wonder.
On days like today, when the pressure overwhelms me, I think about my garden and the peace I find there. But unlike a memory, which can be pushed aside by louder voices, my garden is a sanctuary I run to at the end of the day. And BEING there brings the greatest peace of all.
Where do you find your peace?
[Above photo credit: www.public-domain-image.com]