Sometimes the greatest moments come unannounced.
I rode the bus to work the other day. The bus is not how I usually get to work. Normally I drive, but we are car shopping right now.
First lesson, the bus is slow. And hot.
The bus that I ride speaks to you at each stop. A nice middle aged woman (at least that’s who I imagine her to be) kindly speaks up and says, “Stop requested” each time someone pulls the cord.
I wish we had a pull switch like that. Don’t you need it sometimes? A way to request a stop, a pause, or a halt to your day or your life?
Stop requested, and a place to go and find some peace.
Sounds like a nice thing to do. Only, life doesn’t work that way. Life doesn’t stop in the middle of things.
My trouble is that I believe that it should. I believe that life should have moments of peace amidst the toil. I believe that we should each be able to find our own Fortress of Solitude where we can retreat to.
Maybe you believe it too? Sometimes the Fortress is a place, sometimes it is a practice and sometimes it is a perspective.
I read a book once written by John C. Kerr that reflected on how moments of solitude can be found all around us in our libraries, our city parks, our music and our churches, The moments are there, we just need to take them.
“We must shelter more, and we must do it more profoundly. But we do not have to drop out in the process… sheltering has to do with running to something rather than from.” J.C.Kerr “In the Cleft of the Rock.”
Having a practice like meditation, prayer, music, an art or even exercise can be like having a place to go when things are going haywire. We each need it and we need to practice it regularly. Because trust me, life can go in the toilet very quickly.
Our minds can be the greatest vantage points. Unfortunately, we can make a war out of a cold bullet just by how we think about a situation or a person. The mind needs a focus. Closing our eyes should be a place of peace. Either to sleep, to breathe or to gather our thoughts. When it’s not, we need to find a practice that gives us peace, or a person whom we can go to for support.
Perhaps if each of us, world-wide, took more moments then maybe we would have less violence and less need to bet angry.
Isn’t what we want a little more peace and the opportunity to be free?
Then it’s time to request a stop.
Get off the bus and go to the place where you will find your rest.
That is where you need to be.
Keep it Real
Photo by SMSwaby and Indi Samarajiva