Peace noun \ˈpēs\ : Freedom from disturbance; quiet and tranquilityEvery morning I get dressed and one of the first things I do is put my "Peace" stone in my pocket. Many times throughout the day, as my fingers feel the smoothness of the stone, I find myself grasping to receive it's message.
My quest for peace came about many, many years ago and it began with my father. My father was a very intense and angry man. He wasn't angry at us, he was angry at himself and this caused him a lot of mental and physical angst.
About five years before his death, my dad made the decision that he was no longer going to live his life angry anymore and made some very brave changes. It was a very difficult process for him but he had a great support system and it was something he wanted very much to achieve.
Among the many things my dad did to change his life, and the one that had the most profound effect on him, was learning Tai Chi. My dad totally embraced the art of Tai Chi and the change in him was amazing and dramatic. My father always loved his family, but now he could show us and tell us and it seemed he couldn't express it enough. He felt he had a lot of time to make up for.
But this gal, I wasn't having none of that. I decided that I wasn't about to make it easy for him to love me and proceeded to make myself hard for him to love. And boy did I.
My father never wavered or stopped no matter how much I resisted him. He kept on loving me and finally, finally, he broke through. When I think now of how foolish I was, it fills me with a sadness deep in my heart that I feel will never be eased.
Every summer my mom and dad rented a cottage in Charleston, RI. It was a vacation that they looked forward to every year. It had gotten especially enjoyable because now there were grandchildren and "Bumpa" loved spending time his family. Austin, Kelsey and Morgan brought him much joy and happiness.
One summer, long before I was married, I had joined them for a few days at the cottage. I had gotten up early to go to the bathroom and on my way I happened to look outside. It was about 6 am in the morning, the kind of morning that you get when you are within a mile from the beach, and there was my father in the backyard doing his Tai Chi exercises.
I stopped and watched him and even now, almost 20 years later, I can not even find the words or feelings that would ever come close to describing what I saw and what I felt in my heart in that moment looking at my father. I saw something in him that I never saw in another person before. The serenity, peace and grace I saw moved me to tears then and it still does.
I carry the 'peace' stone because this is what I strive for. This is what I want in my life and in my heart. I want to feel and experience that peace that I saw in my father that morning. The peace that my dad fought so hard for. The peace that he deserved to live longer to enjoy.
Peace. Peace in my mind and peace in my heart. So hard for me to achieve but I keep on trying. And that is why I carry my stone.