Saturday, October 30, 2010
I don't know what I'm going to write today. It's not planned, yet it must have something to do with serenity, because I thought of the above picture, taken the day nobody showed up at our Saturday morning OA meeting, taken outside the AA meeting building, where someone had carefully nested this three-inch treasure in the moss at the edge of a little planted area near the door. I was compelled to find the picture and put it at the beginning of this post.
Who did that, I wonder? The artist in me wants to know if the base is a rock, solid and silent, under a thick coating of gesso or if perhaps the whole thing is made with clay. The child in me loves the little snails oozing their way slowly, ever so slowly, across the stone. The seeker in me loves the word serenity, craving a place where my mind can be like that, totally at peace, where time stands still, where colors blend into harmonic tones. The elder in me loves the essence of it, the thought behind its creation and position in time and space, spirals of snail shells winding both inward and outward, tiny baby steps represented by snails, innocence of white, inevitable growth symbolized in the vines, all these things culminating in serenity.
So how do we know serenity? Where do we find it? Once experienced, how do we keep it from evaporating as our busy minds create heat from friction of daily concerns. Surely the spiritual practice of meditation must allow an entry to serenity. Baby steps. At our weekly OA meeting we say the serenity prayer in unison:
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.
In those brief moments, I feel my shoulders drop and my breathing slow. A sense of well-being comes over me, and I'm ever so slightly more optimistic than when I arrived at the meeting. I still don't know anything, don't have any answers, but in the moment of saying this prayer, I am more open to whispers from the universe, less needful of control. Fleeting? Yes, but with each meeting, each week of fellowship, serenity cloaks me a nanosecond longer.