The news can be depressing and worrisome, and here in our own communities, things can seem futile at times. We worry about gifts to be bought and money being tight, and that there is just not enough time to get done what we seem to think needs to get done. Ah, this is the season of “hustle and bustle!” But, it should also be a time to reflect. A time to be kind to yourself and take time to find your peace.
For me, it could be a simple walk in the woods. White pines have always been my favorite. Is it the soft needles, clean underbrush, or pleasant smell? I don’t know, and I can’t say for sure, but I do love the peace I find walking amongst these trees. For you, perhaps tranquility can be found in a walk on the beach or in curling up and reading a good book.
Growing up, I was blessed with great parents, and to this day, the gifts that I remember as being the best were the simplest. The fancy gifts are long gone, but the simple ones still remain on my wall, desk, or mantle to enjoy. I would like to share one of these special gifts with you. A small plaque given to me as a youth with a personal inscription, in the words of my father, reading:
‘I would like to think these were tried and tested and passed down thru the ages from those so great to those we love.”
In the crazy world in which we find ourselves today, try to find a little time to be alone with your thoughts. Enjoy the day, and share it with the ones you love. So, as you fret over what to put under the Christmas tree: I would like to pass the same message on to you.
‘Desiderata’ by Anonymous
Go placidly amid the noise and the haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even to the dull and the ignorant, they too have their story. Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter; for always, there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself. Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs, for the world is full of trickery. But let not this blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals, and everywhere life is full of heroism. Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is as perennial as the grass. Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness. Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.
Therefore, be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be. And whatever your labors and aspirations in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul. With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.