Sitting for peace on the road and a change of heart

Crossing the Sierras, 27th stand for peace, May 19, 2012
Crossing the Sierras, 27th stand for peace, May 19, 2012

27th stand

It’s a long trip. We made the decision to get an early start. For the first time, I do not drop everything to stand for peace.

I’ve decided to sit in peace as we drive, but I am easily distracted. The scenery is fantastic through the Sierras, heading toward Nevada.

I forget sometimes, that I intend to be silent and speak, about a passing car that shaves a little too close, about a hawk flying overhead. At one point during the hour, I bicker with my traveling companion.

Would it matter, really, whether I bicker during the hour I meant to meditate peacefully or at any other hour during the drive?

It’s easy to be peaceful during meditation. Easy to imagine I can carry that peacefulness into the rest of my every day. Executing peacefulness, (oh yes, I get the irony in that phrase), in momentary irritations that push my buttons, is another thing altogether.

All the same, I am almost immediately aware of the dissonance in my quest to build peace in my life moment to moment and my snapping response just now. I beg forgiveness, of my companion, of myself, and of Spirit.

We are out of town nearly a week, visiting family. All too often on such visits, my bile and anger rise simultaneously when I least expect it. This week is different. We have a totally enjoyable time.

Only once do I hear my voice rising, tinged with bitterness. I don’t have to swallow it, or check it, or drown it, or step away. I let go. Almost as easily as saying it. The moment passes. Later, my family member comes to me and apologizes for her behavior. My heart wells with love. I had already forgotten the incident.

Is it possible, that all these months of standing for peace, and the years I’ve spent standing for peace five minutes a day, are finally paying off in changed responses to the old hurts? For nothing tests my desire for peace as going home, though it is the place I most love to be.

Whoever may read this, I pray that somehow you too may find that the act of standing for peace, or sitting for peace, or meditating peacefully or in prayer–however you make peace in your life–may reap such fruit.


Note: Though I’ve dated this the date of the stand, to be consistent, I finished writing it later, after the trip.

Text and image © L Kathryn Grace – All rights reserved

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