Since childhood, I have always gravitated to movies with a wholesome flavor. One of my all time favorites is “Anne of Green Gables” by Kevin Sullivan. This movie in particular made me want to dive right into the scene and experience the sites and smells of the locations. You could almost smell the fresh air, feel the cool breeze, taste the yummy pies, and feel yourself surrounded by indescribable beauty. And, since my childhood, I have desired to be in that place: searching for the place that creates a state of mind of utter and complete peace.
It wasn’t until I was at my mom’s house one year that I did. It was the winter after Asher was born, and we were there visiting for the week. The day before we were to leave, a giant snow storm covered the earth with several inches of snow. The next morning, mom asked if I wanted to go on a walk with her. I suited up in my flannel pajama pants, some tennis shoes,a coat, and some gloves and headed out the door to wonderland. We had walked for a bit when she asked if I wanted to tackle the walking trail with her. Hesitantly, I agreed (I am not known for my cat-like reflexes or balance). As we entered the trailhead, she turned to me and said, “Now THIS is wholesome living!”. I was there. That peaceful place. Totally engulfed in the surroundings and the moment. Smelling the freshly littered ground of snow, feeling the prickly cold on my cheeks, hearing…well…nothing but the ice crunching under my feet. Complete peace. “This,” I thought, “is the way to live. Completely present in the moment, and enjoying it all”.
Although I have tried to remember to stay in the present and enjoy it for what it is so many times, it never fails that something is ever pressing on my mind. It generally has to do with the future. What is on the schedule for tomorrow? How am I going to pay this bill? What have I not done that needs to get done?
It wasn’t until last week I found that place again. My “Anne of Green Gables” place of peace. Asher, my son, and I had taken a whole week to go to my Dad’s farm for a visit. He told me that the blueberry bush in the yard was “covered up” in blueberries. So, at dusk, me and my handy dandy bowl charged out into the yard for some fresh off the bush berries. After scanning the area for snakes, I began the labor of picking blueberries. For each blueberry that I put into the bucket, I ate at least 3. The birds were chirping, the wind was blowing ever so slightly, and it was so hot I was sweating in places I forgot could sweat. I was completely there. Not concerned a bit with anything else but blueberries. It was then I knew: I am completely present, and I do not know if I have ever felt so alive. There was no T.V., no cell phone, no computer, no camera, no person, nothing but the bugs, the birds, the sun, the earth, the site of green oak trees casting shadows over the green grass of home, and me and the blueberry bush. Oh…and the bittersweet flavor of freshly picked blueberries overwhelming my tastebuds. This was my place of indescribable beauty.
Since this encounter with peace, I have come to realize that this place is readily available to me at anytime. I just have to make a conscience effort to make the world stop and focus on the moment. Focus on everything around me at that moment. I must constantly remind myself that peace and beauty are flying past me at every turn. I don’t have to go searching for something that is already there.
So, now, I am going outside with my son and my husband to stop and soak in my very own rendition of “Anne of Green Gables”. However, this one is better because it is real…and its mine.