“Every breath we take, every step we make, can be filled with peace, joy and serenity.”Thích Nhất Hạnh
Mirth is like a flash of lightning, that breaks through a gloom of clouds, and glitters for a moment; cheerfulness keeps up a kind of daylight in the mind, and fills it with a steady and perpetual serenity. Joseph Addison
After a long week of personal strains, this challenge is the tall glass of cold water I needed; writing this helped me cool off and return to a place of calm. One couldn’t have wished for a better theme and so, I thank the WordPress community leaders/hosts for an apropos challenge to serenely guide us into the weekend. The photos above are of two of my favorite places for quiet reflection, rest, and relaxation. The garden in Kyoto, Japan, is within the confines of an ancient temple. We stopped and gazed at the beautiful layout and listened to the quiet movement of water. I find water relaxing and this one had an impact on me. The hammock photo was taken at Omega Park in Dutchess County, NY. If you’ve ever been up there, you know it is an oasis for restoration and healing.
“Boredom is the feeling that everything is a waste of time; serenity, that nothing is.” Thomas Szasz
What I dream of is an art of balance, of purity and serenity devoid of troubling or depressing subject matter – a soothing, calming influence on the mind, rather like a good armchair which provides relaxation from physical fatigue. Henri Matisse
I’ve written quite a few posts about the beautiful Croton Aqueduct. The aqueduct runs the length of the lower Hudson Valley in Westchester County, NY; from Croton into Yonkers and to the Bronx. It’s about 26.2 miles and people love walking/strolling there. It is a great place of respite, and I find that a brisk walk or even a slow stroll on the aqueduct can be quite magical; there is a clarity/calm that descends on the mind while on the path. It has given me many moments of peaceful contemplation, and answers or resolutions to problems. It’s also a great place for Walking Meditations. Where do you go when you need to be calm? What do you do to bring serenity into your life?
“A garden must combine the poetic and the mysterious with a feeling of serenity and joy.” Luis Barragán
The final wisdom of life requires not the annulment of incongruity but the achievement of serenity within and above it. Reinhold Niebuhr
When I first read the assignment, the first thought that came to mind was the Serenity Prayer/Poem. See it below. In times of stress and challenges, it is important to have a place you can go to rejuvenate your body and mind. Anything that feeds the soul and brings calm to the body is great. Meditation and words of peaceful prayer and affirmations help me. Water is also a great relaxer. So, I end this post with two photos with bodies of water. The first is a small pond, Halsey Pond, in my area. It’s a great place for a quiet stroll or to just sit and watch the ducks. The second is a boat on the Hudson River. The river can get busy at times but when it’s quiet and still, it’s blissful. Enjoy the photos and do share where you find serene spots in your area.
The Full Serenity Prayer by Reinhold Niebuhr
God grant me the serenity
To accept the things I cannot change;
Courage to change the things I can;
And wisdom to know the difference.
Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world
As it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting that He will make things right
If I surrender to His Will;
So that I may be reasonably happy in this life
And supremely happy with Him
Forever and ever in the next.
My fellow bloggers were equally creative with their selections. Check out how others interpreted the theme below.
This post was inspired by a prompt from WP Daily Post: Weekly Photo Challenge: Serenity For This week, show us your interpretation of serenity.
Positive Motivation Tip: Serenity begins inside of us and then spreads out to those places we go to when we feel serene. First, go Inside and seek it there.
PHOTO CREDITS/ATTRIBUTIONS: All Photos from my personal collection.