Monday, January 14, 2008

Picture of Peace

My program had a family picnic this past December at the Santa Fe Dam in the City of Irwindale. I had gone there the day before to pick the best spot for the outing. As I walked along the sandy shore, I came across an empty life guard station. The picture you see here is from the view of the tower. As you can see, the place was deserted on that day, except for some ducks waddling across the lake off camera. It's a peaceful setting that most people would readily trade to be a part of- a welcome respite from the stress and daily grinds. As inviting and glorious the vista may have been in its natural wonders, it was meant to serve as a necessary but temporary need, which is a momentary escape.

Being in a serene environment such as this reminds me of a story I heard long ago:

There once was a King who offered a prize to the artist who would paint the best picture of peace. Many artists tried. The King looked at all the pictures, but there were only two he really liked and he had to choose between them.

One picture was of a calm lake. The lake was a perfect mirror, for peaceful towering mountains were all around it. Overhead was a blue sky with fluffy white clouds. All who saw this picture thought that it was a perfect picture of peace.

The other picture had mountains, too. But these were rugged and bare. Above was an angry sky from which rain fell and in which lightening played. Down the side of the mountain tumbled a foaming waterfall. This did not look peaceful at all. But when the King looked, he saw behind the waterfall a tiny bush growing in a crack in the rock. In the bush a mother bird had built her nest. There, in the midst of the rush of angry water, sat the mother bird on her nest... perfect peace.

Which picture do you think won the prize?

The King chose the second picture. Do you know why? "Because," explained the King, "peace does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble, or hard work. Peace means to be in the midst of all those things and still be calm in your heart. That is the real meaning of peace."

Digg this

No comments: