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Dancing to life's rhythm...

Spring in the Northwest... the emerging of life in color from the veil of grey which winter holds here.

My son took this picture a couple of weeks ago.  It is one of my favorite streets to drive in town during the Spring bloom just as it is his.  He sent it to my phone.  Simple enough - a quick connection - and with it a reminder that I could glimpse Peace simply by driving home the long way that day.  This next photo was actually sent to me while I was creating this post.  (...hmm, imagine that...)  My younger son snapped this one while up at our cabin in the Cascade Mountains and with the magic that is Iphone I received his text moments later.  A chipmunk peaking out from his winter hideaway to take at look at what Spring has to offer him. They both thought they were simply sharing a moment of their lives with me.  They were... and I loved it.  What they were unaware of was that it was more than that - their photos reminded me that I too needed to awake from Winter's dormancy. 

My husband and I have often joked through the years that Spring- the season of all things Baseball and Softball in our home- pulls us out of our winter "sleep".  Perhaps (one could reason)  it is the fact that in Washington we play ball in the rain that we are so wide awake.  My daughter told me she actually experienced a "brain freeze" during a game in freezing sleet a couple of weeks ago.  We laughed together and shrugged it off.  Oh well - of course we sit in the bleachers with umbrellas, warm boots, long-johns, blankets, and portable heaters, to watch rain drip off the nose of our kids in ready position, slides never done better in two inches of mud, and the ball disappear into the farm land fog for a double. It's Spring.

Throughout our lives we cycle through periods of varying degrees of connection.  Reaching inward and outward in an ebb and flow similar to the tides.  My husband describes this as the rhythm of life.  At the time we weren't discussing Peace at all, rather the political/economic cycles we recognize and have witnessed over time.  As you become aware of this rhythm your view of the events around you become much more stable (...do I dare say "peaceful"?) even in the midst of great change.  As you fine tune your ability to  recognize the various cycles (rhythms) in your own life you will see them not just seasonally throughout the year but weekly -  even daily.  It is through this process that you can find balance and peace.  Life really isn't so random.  However, I do love that it appears so.

My nephew told me today that Spring is the time for answering the question "Who will I be this year?"  The picture of the chipmunk my son sent me seems to ask that very question as well.  A stretch, a look around, and a decision to explore. 

I believe many make the mistake of thinking that Peace = Solitude.  Although there are definately times when a need for solitude and self-reflection is necessary and beneficial for all of us, the vast majority of the time Peace is found by and through our connections with others and the world surrounding us.  Our ability to master the "dance steps" of life as we practice empathy, laughter, service, listening, playing, problem solving, and pondering (just to mention a few) is greatly increased with each personal connection we make.

Will there be six more weeks (days, months, years...) of "Winter" in your life? That is a question we each must answer for ourselves.  Perhaps, like Spring Sports at our house, there is something that gives you a much needed nudge back out into the elements of life this time of year.  Or, maybe all you need is a whisper - like the trees in bloom on my son's drive home.  As the world around us awakens, so can we. 

Peace dances to the rhythm of life.  You cannot partner with Peace for life's dance as a wall flower...you must explore the dance floor.

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