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Posts Tagged ‘peaceful’

Memory is a funny thing, isn’t it? It’s selective, exclusive, accurate, fictional, unreliable, illuminating, calming, and so much more. One of the ways we know how unreliable memory is is to have two people observe the same series of events and later ask that they recount them. To listen to some accounts, you would not think the people had witnessed the exact same events! If nothing else, memory is personal.

But the beauty of memories, I think, is their ability to bring peace, comfort, and happiness. The photo above, one of many likely sent around in a Power Point presentation (artists never recognized), is from a group of water-themed images. I am reasonably sure it’s Cape Cod or thereabouts. It’s had a special spot on my desktop for a couple weeks now even though I usually have a group set to change every hour.

Every time I look at it, I feel some deep sense of calm, and that calm comes from a memory. When I was a child, my parents sometimes took our family on driving vacations, that trusty AAA TripTik as our guide. Though I can’t remember how old I was at the time of this particular trip, I can remember the busy, narrow streets of Provincetown, bustling with locals and tourists alike. I can see the small, white clapboard shops and sparkling jars and bottles in every color of the rainbow, flags, kites, and … ice cream. I just remembered the ice cream.

And then there was the beach. What I remember so vividly is how totally different the Cape Cod beach was from the beaches where I grew up and frequented here in New Jersey.  The smell of the air, the texture of the sand, the look and feel and scent of the water as it rolled in — so much gentler than the crashing waves at the Jersey shore – the trees and greenery never found at any of the local beaches I’d ever been to. The fact that I have such consistently positive memories of Cape Cod tells me something else. All of us must have been happy.

So this image is going to rest a while longer on my desktop. More importantly, it is my new go-to peaceful place to visit when work gets too hectic, people unreasonable, when stress cranks up a bit. In our memories, there is always a place of calm and respite. This is mine. Feel free to come with.

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Driving backroads out my way, as I’ve mentioned elsewhere in this blog, is a visual feast, but more than that, it is something else. For me, it is nourishment for the soul.

Califon-Fields2

The views I find along my travels feed a part of me that treasures the beauty and peacefulness, and the best part about it is that wherever I go, there they are. The changing of the seasons only adds to the richness of it all.

Califon-Treeline2

I wonder, to a fresh set of eyes, do these views appear boring? In our electronic age, where everything moves at the pace of a nanosecond, do they seem stilted or irrelevant? While I commit some of the images to my camera, I am snapping far many more and recording them in my memory. These simple views offset the pace and insistence of the many electronic communications and devices that make up the day.

Califon-Church2

The wildness of nature or the orderliness of a farmer’s fields … it doesn’t matter … either conspires to awaken in me the knowing that whatever might be happening in life, there is still beauty in my surroundings. It’s in all our surroundings; we only need to stop and look, and take in the view.

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