Serenity, peace, living the good life……call it what you will, but I have had three days in a row where I have enjoyed perfect serenity – a little piece of heaven – and I didn’t have to go far to find it! Right now, I am in the middle of several things that have made life a little hectic, so it was a welcomed gift to stumble upon these opportunities to just sit back and drink in some peaceful relaxation. Now that I’m retired, I can live a little easier when things get hectic – no need to squeeze “hectic” in with “work”. Still, I usually plan some relaxation time into most days. But, in the last three days, opportunities reached out and found me – I literally stumbled on each one without any effort to seek them out.
The first opportunity was on Thursday evening. After leaving from a visit at Mom’s, I decided to swing by Point Breeze to check out the new brick walkway at the lighthouse where the Oak Orchard River meets Lake Ontario. I read that the walkway was finished, but hadn’t had a chance to go see it, yet. I especially wanted to see it because Mom and I had bought several bricks for family members during the fundraising efforts. It was a warm day, but it is always much cooler at the lake, so I assumed it would be too chilly to hang around. I decided to just take a few minutes to check out the bricks and head home. As it turned out, it was a beautiful evening at the Point, too. I took a leisurely stroll along the walkway and found the bricks we purchased. Then, I walked along the shore line gazing at the calm waters of Lake Ontario and sat on a bench overlooking Oak Orchard River. The sky and water were so beautiful – such vivid colors and water as smooth as glass. I sat there for what seemed like hours (actually probably about 45 minutes or so) just listening to the sounds and feeling the warm breeze. It was amazing and so peaceful. After a little while, I got in my car, put the top down, and drove home with the wind blowing through my hair. Aahh – heaven!
The next opportunity was Friday evening. I just finished doing some things in the back yard and sat for just a minute on the wicker love seat on the patio. I was planning to call the girls in and go fix some supper. The girls had other plans. As soon as I sat down, Katie curled up on the love seat beside me and Amy curled up on the wicker chair across the patio from us. Megan was taking a stroll around the yard ensuring every blade of grass was where it was supposed to be. Since Katie and Amy joined me on the patio, I sat back, got comfortable, and seized another opportunity for some peaceful relaxation. We sat there for close to two hours just loving the warm, quiet evening on our backyard patio. It was such a lovely evening and the only sounds came from distant lawn mowers and a few birds chirping. I could have stayed there a couple more hours, but the girls must have realized it was past their supper time and wanted to go inside. It was an amazing end to a busy day.
The third opportunity came this afternoon. It was a cold, rainy Saturday, so I really didn’t feel much like going out and running errands or anything. I planned, pretty much, to just stay home and take care of some stuff around the house. Then, I remembered that there was a book signing scheduled for today at the Pullman Universalist Church in town. The book is a compilation of people and things that are legendary in Orleans County titled “Legendary Locals of Orleans County”. I heard about the book at a luncheon I went to with Mom a couple of months ago and wanted to get a copy when it was ready for sale. So, I decided to go to the book signing just to get a copy of the book and get back home where I could be warm and dry. I went to the church, bought the book, and spoke briefly with the authors while they signed it for me. I have always admired the Pullman church from the outside – it is a beautiful historic church that was built with Medina Sandstone in 1894 by George Pullman (of the Pullman railroad sleeper car fame) in memory of his parents, who resided in Albion in the 1840s. It looks like a castle and it is the first landmark I think of when I think of downtown Albion. But, I’ve never been inside it. Not sure why, just never have been – at least not that I remember. So, when I got my book signed, I decided to leave through the sanctuary to have a look around. It is a surprisingly small sanctuary – given the exterior appearance – but really quite lovely. To provide a musical background for the book signing and reception, there was a lady playing a harp in the sanctuary. The music was so beautiful and the sanctuary was so lovely, that I decided to sit in a pew and take a few minutes to listen to the music and thumb through the book. Other than an occassional person wandering through, I sat all alone with the harpist – as if I was in my own little world and she was making her heavenly sounds just for me. I stayed there about a half an hour or so and enjoyed every minute of it. I hated to leave and go back out into the cold drizzle. I wish I had taken some photos of the sanctuary and harpist……..but, all I have is this photo of the outside that I took a couple of years ago.
Moral of this story? Pay attention! Recognize when an opportunity to participate in something special comes up and take advantage of it. If I had ignored the signs and gone about my business, I would have missed out of three amazing moments of joy.