Reflections on Peace

Reflections on Peace

by Mike Morgan

One morning recently, I looked out the kitchen window of my getaway house in Hickman County and found the entire hill on which the house sits white with frost. In a short while, the morning sun wiped it all away except for the deep peace I felt for having seen that silent beauty. As I loaded up my truck to come back to Nashville, I watched flashes of sun reflecting on the Piney River in front of my house, listened to the steady hum of the flowing water, and felt a deep contentment. That charming little river can become a raging torrent in heavy rain. Recently, it finished uprooting a huge sycamore on its bank and sent it down-river, changing not only the landscape but its path as well. For the second time this season, it washed away the cedar logs I had laid out at the base of my hill as an erosion deterrent. The river gives and the river takes—I had already scouted the banks for stones the river uncovered that would be candidates for my stone wall. I love that uncaring river. It reminds me that I am not in charge, and that’s a mighty freedom.

Peace isn’t the same thing as happiness but I think it helps me recognize happiness when it comes. It isn’t wisdom either, but seems closely aligned to experience. Certainly, as I have grown older, peace is my companion more than it has ever been. In part, I have learned how to nurture it: I watch virtually no television; I avoid entertainment based on violence; and I doubt I will ever learn to use a smart phone. Those things might not work for you. However, as you age, if you do not find yourself more and more at peace, you are not paying enough attention. I cannot give directions for finding peace. I suspect it is different for each individual. My good news is that it is a possibility, and I know that because it continues to grow for me.