I can understand that the question or wish for peace is on a great many peoples’ minds considering the outbreaks and the decisions of the government. Perhaps I can offer my definition of peace as well as a possible setting for it. And remember, this is only what calms me. Your definition may be the complete opposite, dear reader. To me, I see peace as not total order or total balance, but total stillness or emptiness.
Everything being in order can still be busy, and everything in balance will certainly mean there is trouble nearby. But with utter stillness, like in the fading hours of the day on a lake or in a forest, you can experience a silence so profound and complete that it’s enough to make one shudder. As with emptiness, with nothing to cause noise, there is no noise at all. Peace, at least to me, isn’t truly or fully the lack of conflict or presence of cooperation. It is what I spoke of before. Total silence. Total stillness. Total peace.
The scene that brings peace to me the most is that of a cabin up in some of the highest reaches of Minnesota. It is a place of nearly untouched beauty and verdant life. Down some distance from the cabin, beyond the pine, over the rocks, through the brush and branches, and at the edging waters of a lake, sat upon pine needles and birch bark, there is a weathered and wooden bench. It’s as gray as steel and an elder to me. Moss grows on the legs while lichen sprouts on the seat and arms. Around me is a small clearing, big enough just to feel the freedom of space, but not so far as to feel separate from the forest. Pines stand vigilant at the edges of the water, rooted in soil and stone alike while birches watch behind the bench with noiseless elegance with their pine counterparts. And from the bench’s rough or smooth seat, weathered and worn nonetheless, I see through a gap in the trees the lake set aflame by a dying sun. The waves of quicksilver, barely more than ripples in a pond, are turned to gold at their peaks and obsidian at their valleys. And in the sky above, ablaze in the magnificence and splendor of heaven’s gates, clouds stretch across to grasp the sun’s rays and allow the coming night to shade the azure sky with violet and lavender only for the sun to streak its own brush past the clouds to paint its rays atop Night’s work to produce a masterpiece no mortal or deity alike could replicate.
From there, on my humble wooden bench, I sit and look on, the whispers of wind and water falling on deaf ears as I take in the seraphic scene. From the sight of it all, the shackles of the tumultuous world fall away to allow me peace. It would not matter if it had only been a moment or a lifetime. That sight, and the memory of such a soulful world give me enough peace for eternity. Enough so, that I would never be without its mark and blessing.
– Jack Plurkowski