Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Finding April's Peaceful Moments

With all of life’s stressors these days, I set a goal for myself in April to try to deliberately find small moments of peace and beauty. Reflecting back on the month, I think I did a less-than-great job of still feeling the weight of too many things. But I think I also was successful in finding those brief moments of serenity.

I haven’t been in this spot in almost two years. But an early April day offered a chance to mountain bike, which I haven’t been able to do in forever. Sitting on this outcropping, admiring the view all the way to Boston, I was excited to ride, and everything felt right for the moment.

After picking one daughter up from dance class and grabbing a bite to eat with both, all three of us noticed what appeared to be a nice sunset. We raced to a nearby field in the hopes of capturing a better view. We were rewarded with a serene setting and great angle on the sunset. All of us were snapping pictures left and right. Stepping back, I loved watching my daughters taking the scene in and appreciating the beauty around them.

Work meetings are almost never exciting. Ones with state regulators? Even less so. For a few months, I drove to state offices amidst the grayness of winter. On this day, I left their building to find a tree in full bloom with a glorious sky as a backdrop. This was far and away my best work moment of that week!

Spring has sprung on Cape Cod. While the Cape is about a month behind the mainland for a lot of spring foliage, this was a sign of the impending color that will be all over the Cape in a few weeks. The cheery brightness of the yellow against the cold stone was particularly striking to me.

Following the adrenaline and exertion of mountain biking through the woods, burning off the stress of the workday, I stopped on the way home to sit and admire the blossoming apple trees on the slope of a hill, with just a hint of a cool, evening breeze reinforcing the tranquility of the moment.

Nantucket’s Daffodil Festival welcomes spring – and the return of the tourist economy. It’s full of energy, bustling with enthusiasm and events around the island over three days. But on the morning of the parade, I found myself alone on a bench on a side street, sipping a coffee and watching a few antique cars delicately jostle their way over the cobblestone street and into position three hours ahead of the parade. A few parents ambled past, with distracted young children or dogs in tow, sporting yellow costumes. Fog rolled in several times, with the sun repeatedly burning it off. I’d have stayed there all day if I could, but moments can’t last forever; the near-silence and solitude ebbed over time, as if an energy dial was being slowly turned up, eventually signaling the end of this moment.

I think this turned into a good challenge to continue for the moment. Spring is here, and color should explode in the month ahead, with more scenes awaiting me if I make a point of seeking them out.

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