January 16

Weekly Photo Challenge: Serenity

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“Every breath we take, every step we make, can be filled with peace, joy and serenity.”Thích Nhất Hạnh

Weekly Photo Challenge: Serenity - A temple garden in Kyoto
Weekly Photo Challenge: Serenity – A temple garden in Kyoto
Weekly Photo Challenge: Serenity - Hammocks at Omega Park
Weekly Photo Challenge: Serenity – Hammocks at Omega Park

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

Weekly Photo Challenge: Serenity - A walk on the Croton Aqueduct
Weekly Photo Challenge: Serenity – A walk on the Croton Aqueduct

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?

More Below!

“A garden must combine the poetic and the mysterious with a feeling of serenity and joy.” Luis Barragán

Weekly Photo Challenge: Serenity - Halsey Pond In Springtime
Weekly Photo Challenge: Serenity – Halsey Pond In Springtime
Weekly Photo Challenge: Serenity - A boat anchored on the Hudson River
Weekly Photo Challenge: Serenity – A boat anchored on the Hudson River

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.

More Weekly Photo Challenge Posts

PHOTO CREDITS/ATTRIBUTIONS: All Photos from my personal collection.

Until Next Time…
Ask. Believe. Receive. ©
Elizabeth Obih-Frank
Mirth and Motivation
Positive Kismet




calm, DPchallenge, Kyoto temple garden, Old Croton Aqueduct, photography, postaday, serene, Serenity, Serenity Prayer, Weekly Photo Challenge

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  • Everything here is soo pretty! I love it all! I love that you’re doing a weekly photo challenge! I’ve been wanting to do one for awhile now but haven’t had time to actually do one!

  • Everything is so beautiful!! I love the pictures! I also love that you did a weekly photo challenge! I’ve been wanting to do one for awhile now but haven’t had the time to actually do one!

  • When I think of serenity, I think of laying at the beach. That is my happy place and it’s always so relaxing for me.

  • My daughter really likes to meditate to remain calm and peaceful. She says to just be alone with your thoughts.

  • The photos you have chosen for the challenge are perfect, each one as serene as the last! I especially like the one with the adult, child and dog walking down a quiet lane.

  • When i am bored i do sometimes feel like things are worthless.. just because i am not doing anything.. i think that is strange..

  • I want a boat, just to sit around and think.. i find that sitting by myself in the middle of nowhere i think about the things i need done.

  • The pictures are awesome. I love nature. The temple garden in Kyoto looks fabulous. I have never been there before. Will have to add this in my must go list. Thanks a lot for sharing this.

  • Looking at these photo makes me feel in nature – so “zen” like. Just too wonderful!

  • My sister-in-law finds water to be a huge relaxer. She has to go to the beach if she’s out of sorts, and I don’t think she could ever move away from the ocean.

  • I too dream of a life of art and balance. I mean, how incredible would it be to actually reach that point in life where you can create while all the other aspects of life fall into place naturally? How sweet a life it would be.

  • I love the Kyoto garden photo, It reminds of the peace and calm I had with my husband when we spent a morning in a Japanese garden/park in Florida a few years ago. Pure bliss.

  • Omg love your picture of kyoto!!! I visited Kyoto back in 2005. Amazing place 🙂

  • Serene indeed! Love those views. The kind of views that would calm your nerves down when you feel like exploding already. 🙂

  • These are all beautiful pictures as well as places indeed and I would love to visit any of these places. Serenity to me is when I am laying there thinking of nothing at all and everything around me is quiet. Thanks for sharing.

  • This is so nice! Very creative. Hope some people will watch this also.Interesting!

  • The images fit the words perfectly! Very relaxing and the perfect place to have a walk. Sim @ simslife.co.uk

  • These are very beautiful shots! I hope I can take food pictures in the future that are as beautiful as these photos. Great job sensei!

  • The images are so beautiful and serene indeed. One of the main reasons I miss the States is Upstate NY especially around autumn. Hahahaha I don’t miss winter up there but your photos brought back lots of memories. Thank you for sharing them.

  • Whenever I go to our province, I look forward serenity. It’s so hard to find serenity in our place those it’s not the main city, it’s still crowded, noisy and polluted. We should always take some time to find a serene place to reflect, relax and just breathe.

  • I love how you interpret the word serenity into photographs. Looking at it, you have indeed captured the essence of it. The place and the photos itself looks calm and peaceful.

  • I liked the Croton Aqueduct most. It looks very conducive for reflecting and meditating, and insightful me-time. I wish we had a similar venue that’s as beautiful here in Manila.

  • I liked the Croton Aqueduct the most. It seems like a conducive place for reflection and meditation. Hoping I can discover a similar venue here in Manila!

  • Nature and gardens has its way of calming the eyes and relaxing the senses. These are really great captures and the pictures looks really refreshing.

  • What beatific and peaceful pics. A lot of them remind me of Maymont, a park here in Richmond and I always feel more peaceful there. Thank you for sharing.

  • I love your greenery photos. Green is the most serene color for me. Most relaxing for the eyes.

  • I have these serenity moments everyday. I usually just look out the window on class breaks, and just look at the people around me, the environment, the trees, even the movements that the wind caused. I love this post! It reminds me to really invest in serenity moments, my “me time”.Indeed nothing is a waste! 🙂 Glad to have this affirmation.

  • “A garden must combine the poetic and the mysterious with a feeling of serenity and joy.” love this one. There is no substitute to meditate in a a serene place.

  • Great photos. I always found a body of water to be serene and relaxing. I’d love to visit the temple garden. So beautiful

  • I needed this today. I love your blogs so much, thank you!

  • I needed this today. My life feels anything but serene and I definitely need to get that feeling back.

  • What camera do you use? Nice shots, so peaceful to look at, thanks for sharing!

  • Your photos are beautiful and actually feel like you were there instead of looking at a picture

  • Everything looks beautiful and lovely pictures how I wish I have a chance to visit these places someday.

  • When I first open this post, I automatically felt calm by the Japanese garden. So calming.

  • Aaahh, looking at these images while still being in a lockdown for almost four months is really relaxing and refreshing.

  • I just lost my job and this is what I need! I love the photo and everything about it. Thanks!

  • Your Photographs are just gorgeous! Serenity is not easy to come by but your pictures really show it.

  • Nature and still water in particular (lakes, ponds) always remind me of serenity. You chose well.

  • Serenity = the state of being calm, peaceful, and untroubled. The pictures shout calmness.. Glad you find peace during your walk

  • It’s so funny how a challenge like this can come at the time we need it most. Your photos are gorgeous and it looks like a very peaceful place.

    • Actually, it’s an old post from 5 years ago or so but yes, it is timely. We need some peaceful breakthroughs on our planet.

  • The serenity is strong in these photos. I can see how they are calming and peaceful.

  • I love this quote. Such a beautiful reminder that in the small things we have so much to offer ☕️

    a latte of blessings & sparkles, Jeanie{CoffeeGirl.Blog

  • When I first read this post title, my first thought was the Serenity Prayer too! I love your photos; they are beautiful and calming – just what the world needs right now.

  • These photos looks very peaceful, serene, and also dreamy. These makes me dream more of future travel and help to keep the nature’s beauty.

  • I love your thoughts about serenity. It is necessary to our soul to experience it on a regular basis. It keeps us balanced and sane!

  • I am loving all your photos here for sure. I love anything that involves the great outdoors for sure x

  • The photograph with hammock looks so relaxing and inviting! I wouldn’t mind spending an afternoon there with a good book!

  • These places looks so amazing and very interesting to visit and explore..Thanks for sharing indeed…found it very useful and helpful…

  • I am destress when I read your sharing here with all the lovely beautiful captures, thanks!

  • Wow the first few photos definitely made me feel serene. I wish I could visit those places.

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