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Prince Albert
Sunday, December 3, 2023
Home Community Voices Finding peace in the storm

Finding peace in the storm


Ruth Griffiths

Peace might be the absence of discord but it is also a state of tranquility or serenity. I have found that simply removing yourself from the hubbub of daily living doesn’t instantly produce tranquility.

At a time when I had some decisions to make about my life I sought the peace and tranquility of a lakeside campground in Prince Albert National Park. I thought I would find the stillness I was seeking if I spent some time alone amidst the healing beauty of nature. I was only partially right.

It was mid-September and the beach was deserted. A sunny morning had turned cold and it threatened to snow. I built a tea fire and huddled into a blanket. The wind in the trees and the lapping waves created a soothing white noise that helped to quiet my mind. But the jumbled thoughts in my head continued to rob me of the peace I was seeking

A member of the park staff stopped by to check if I was OK. Outside of another visitor driving through the campground, he was the only person I saw all day. Solitude failed to soothe and the cacophony of thoughts continued unabated.

I became increasingly frustrated with my failure to find peace and solitude on that empty beach. In tears, I decided that the endless activity of my brain was never going to end. I gave up my search for stillness and sank even deeper into my blanket.

As I stopped focusing on my thoughts, I began to focus on the far horizon, the patterns of the shifting clouds and the spicy bite of the air. That’s when a different sort of peace happened for me. I made peace with myself. I decided that it was OK to be who I was, complete with my inability to quiet my brain.

Like the rustling poplar leaves, the lapping waves and the rushing air, my mind is constantly in motion.

Peace arrived when I stopped fighting myself so that I became reconciled with who I am.

Each year during Advent (the four weeks before Christmas), I try to write about the Advent themes. Next week I will write about Joy.