Where do you find your peace of mind?

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slice-of-life2I am participating in #SOL18. Thanks to the twowritingteachers blog team for creating this space to write, read, and respond to each other’s writing.

Last evening we had dinner with my goddaughter Alex and her fiance Steve. I was eager to see Alex since her shower is coming up in early April. We are having it at The Gables, a wonderful restaurant near their home and near Longwood Gardens. After a lunch and celebration we are going to head to the Gardens to take pictures of Alex and all her guests (My husband will be the photographer).

A great meal and great conversation. Alex and I were talking about how to achieve mindfulness and a sense of tranquility. For Alex, it’s when she’s riding. Being one with the horse – it is all she thinks about and is able to free herself of any other thoughts. For Alex, it’s a special part of any day.  I nodded, remembering times at the stables when I would sit on the low stone wall just outside the barn’s courtyard at the end of a day. As purple dusk filled in the spaces between the trees, I sat very still and just breathed in and out. Sometimes, I heard an owl call. Sometimes, I watched the flicker of fireflies. My mind was strangely empty of problems, and pressing issues seemed to evaporate into the night air.

Today, I find that same peace in long walks at Longwood Gardens. I will start going once a week now, arriving when the grounds are open to the public and fairly empty – it is not crowded then, especially on week days. As the days grow warmer, I’ll hike through the meadows, across the meadow bridge to the old Webb farmhouse where an art gallery awaits me inside. Birds will be plentiful, and the colors of the gardens will change almost every other month. I’ll breathe in and out, walk, and sometimes pause to sit on a bench and write or sketch in my notebook. That’s peaceful, too. Longwood meadow

The quietude and solitude of a walk – alone, with my husband, or with a friend – is good for my heart (literally and figuratively) and for my soul. I bring you the beauty of the garden today through my photo collection, soon to grow larger as we head out to Longwood for an afternoon walk.