Riots. Social Isolation. Social media. Televised sensationalism. This is the time to sit quietly and soak in nature, the only thing that hasn’t been taken from us at this current time. Something not man-made. Something that is the right to absorb by every living creature on this planet.
I remember in high school as a young man, I searched desperately for peace from my tumultuous childhood. There was so little to be found. So I began to get up very early in the morning and run. Just run. I would wake up on those cool fall mornings barely able to open my eyes. As I walked outside, the chill of the darkness would enter my lungs. The humidity would hurt as it rushed through my lungs. I would start off slow and build up to a sprint. Once I hit a couple miles, I would walk across the street to the National Wildlife Refuge.
When I returned to my house, I would let out my cocker spaniel Rocky to run and have his start to the day. Our slow descent to the edge of the cornfield overlooking the Tennessee River was something that I earned through a painful run each early morning. As we approached the field, I would lose sight as the morning mist coming from the river would fill my senses. Once I made it through the initial white cloud, I would see the cornfield and breathe in deeply, watching the beauty of God’s creation in one of its finest moments.
In that instant, my internal turmoil would melt away and my eyes would fill with sunshine as the sun would rise righteously over the distant river. The fog would lazily sit above the corn filling every gap with mystical white light reflecting off of the sun. In that moment each morning, I was reminded that God does exist. God does care. And no man, woman, or child was meant to be an island. Love would overflow as the awe of the magnificent creation struck the cord of my innermost being.
On my slow and steady pace back to the house, Rocky would follow me and then happily lead me while reflecting the same joy in his eyes that I now felt in my heart and mind. I would fill his bowl with dog food and water and go inside for a refreshing shower. I would then iron my clothes for the day, pack my books, and walk quietly to the den to speak to my father before school.
As we pulled up to the school, I breathed in one last peaceful breath and walked through the large double doors of Decatur High School. My day began.
Sitting in class inundated with information, I couldn’t help but continue to visualize the sun shining across the water and the fog slithering undetected through the cornfield. From time to time, I would breathe in deeply as if I was still there without a thought or care in the world.
Finding peace of mind and soul in times such as these can be simple or complex. I choose to make it simple. Fishing has always been my zen. Being on the water without a care in sight is how I choose to get away from the force-fed drama of everyday life in today’s version of the book 1984 by George Orwell.
I don’t watch much television other than movies, and I continue to read for the joy of knowledge and the remembrance of lessons learned in society’ past progressions. I often go for a walk late at night and talk to God to remind myself of what really matters. There is no greater thing on this earth than peace in one’s soul.
By: Charles Joseph