|Photo by J. Grandbois|
the state of being calm, peaceful, and untroubled.
I have experienced moments of serenity. A sunrise over the sea witnessed in solitude. The quiet of a damp, mossy forest after a rainstorm has passed. A walk by the river when the fog still hovers above the water. A moment of waking up and realizing I've nothing to do on a particular day.
These moments all have two things in common: they were all experienced in solitude and they were all fleeting. I believe serenity might be a solitary experience. We can be feeling serenity in the same place and at the same time as another or even many people, but the feeling, while possibly set off by external events, exists solely in the heart of the one experiencing it. I don't think serenity is infectious in the way laughter or tears can be. We have have a shared joy or grief, even a shared sense of peace...but serenity is singular.
Serenity to me is a feeling that I can breathe, that things, while they may not go okay, will fall in whatever way they will and I'll find a way through. Serenity is an acceptance of the fact that I am not in control of everything. It is recognition of the connection between myself and all other things in the universe. The matter and energy that is me occupies this point in space and time. I may not exist for any particular reason but I am here and I'm alive.
It is a feeling I'd like to have more of in my life. I'm not sure how one cultivates it. Perhaps it is created by cultivating other things: peace, self esteem or a sense of gratitude. Maybe it is easier to feel if one spends more time in nature and quiet places like sunrises and pauses. I'd like to have enough of it that I could tuck some away in an inside spiritual pocket, so when I find myself in the midst of chaos I can pull it out, unfold it and drape it over my mind.