Seeking Peace Among the Corn Fields and Clouds in Washington County

Sunday, August 30, 2020
If you are depressed, you are living in the past.
If you are anxious, you are living in the future.
If you are at peace, you are living in the present.
-Lao Tzu

Don't you wish this quote were true today?  I mean, how lovely would it be if it were but I don't know anyone today who doesn't wish it were that simple.  The world I'm living in today makes me anxious.  It makes me depressed and being at peace feels like a fairy tale.  I've heard from so many friends and followers the struggle so many are having maintaining sanity, treading the waters of depression, fighting to find peace among the reality of the world around us. 
It's nearly impossible some days to not get stuck in the quick sand of negativity that prevails everywhere we turn - on tv and on social media.  The anger, the despair, the fear and uncertainty about so many facets of our world today is overwhelming and threatens our present and our future.  Some days I find myself wanting to seek refuge from reality.  I want to shut out the noise, ignore the news, turn away from politics and seek quiet.  It's impossible to find peace amidst an election, impossible to find positivity among the name calling and mud slinging, impossible to find encouragement when so many are fighting for justice.  I'm generally a pretty happy, positive person, but lately I find myself in a daily struggle trying to make sure that the people and pleasures close to me outweigh the problems that are plaguing everything around  me.  It is those days that I seek refuge and for me, that refuge is in the country where untarnished landscapes distract my mind from its troubles, where the clouds float over me and the sun cast its end of day golden light, and the cornfields blow gently in the summer breeze.  So often that refuge is found on the back roads of Easton, my lighthouse in the storm, my medicinal tonic.
As you come along on our recent road trip, take a moment to imagine yourself in the car with us.  Take a long, slow look at each photo.  Imagine the breeze as it slowly moves the corn rows back and forth.  Listen for the sound of nature.  Notice the marshmallow clouds hovering overhead, the shadows they make and the sky they accessorize.  Let go of the anxiety and anger and allow yourself to feel the peace. 

At a time when the whole world is full of dissension, opposing views, sarcasm and lies, violence and pandemic, we all could use more peace.  Peace begins with you.  And it begins with me.  We have a choice, we can fuel the fire or we can extinguish the flames that keep it burning.  We can respond with anger and hate, or we can listen with compassionate and objective minds.  We can seek the truth or we can buy into the lies.  We can follow those who lead with integrity and humility or we can allow the country to be ruled by bullies who destroy the integrity and freedoms so many have fought for.  However we choose to respond to the chaos around us, that is the world that will become our future.  We live in a country where we have the freedom to choose our response.  We must choose wisely. 
This year has been anything but peaceful.  It's time for each of us to do whatever we can to take control - not with anger or bullying or threats, but with intelligence and compassion.  This is not a war to be won with strength and weapons and the more we attempt to gain peace using those forces, the darker our world will become.  We need to discern when we are being swept up into the cyclone of chaos and we must find a way out.  Whether your remedy for finding peace is a road trip on a back road, a walk in a park, time with loved ones or an escape in a good book.... it's important to find your own effective retreat.  We must fight the depression and anxiety and seek peace. We must be the light, the heart and the voice of reason.  Our world depends on it.  Our freedom depends on it.  Seek peace and seek it first in yourself.  To view the photos in a music montage, view them on You Tube using this link: Seeking Peace
We seek peace knowing that peace is the climate of freedom.
-Dwight D. Eisenhower

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