"WHEN WE ARE UNABLE TO FIND TRANQUILITY WITHIN OURSELVES, IT IS USELESS TO SEEK IT ELSEWHERE."
Francios de La Rochefoucauld
I used to think that I needed peace and quiet (mostly quiet) to be able to find tranquility. I used to live in a place where you never heard traffic whizzing by late at night or saw headlights flashing on the walls and ceiling as they went by. I used to think that peace came from somewhere outside of me and that if I was quiet enough and still enough that I would find it within me. How wrong I was!
Since moving to our new house, I have learned that a person can block outside distractions. I don't think that there are many moments in my day where I don't hear the noise of a car, a dog barking, children laughing, or other outside sounds. Those sounds used to bother me more than they do now. What I have learned recently (and since our move) is that there are just different levels of noise. In our former home we heard nothing but birds, crickets, frogs and an occasional dog barking or car. But they were still sounds, right? How does one categorize sound?
In our new home we have another sound that has since become something that I look forward to: the sound of the train. The train is not in my backyard but more like a few miles away. In our former home we could occasionally hear the distant sound of a train if the wind was blowing in our direction or the evening was extremely still. Here, at our new home, I have the luxury of hearing the sound of the train in the distance. In the evening when I sit out on the porch, it is comforting to hear the train whistle blowing. You can hear the sound of the wheels as they move up or down the tracks. There is a distinct humming that the wheels produce as they roll along the tracks. The sound of the train is comforting to me now. It is a sound in which I have found tranquility.
Did I ever think this would happen? No, absolutely not. Yet, the sound of the train now affords me a vision. When I hear the train whistle in the evening or early morning, it reminds me of the possibilities in life. I think of all the new places that the train can visit. I think of all the new people that the train can visit. These trains have become a metaphor for my new life here in a new house and in a new town. I don't have to follow the same tracks that I always have and expect the same results.
I have left some people behind that chose not to travel on this path with me. I feel like I have moved at a faster pace than them but that is neither right or wrong. We have just chosen to take a different train. I am trying to look at each new day as an adventure and as a chance to make a new and different choice. I used to hear the whistle blowing so very far away. Now, it is closer.
I am finding tranquility in places I never expected to find it and that is both eye-opening and astonishing to me at the same time. I feel blessed to be able to experience new and wonderful things along the way. Life is a journey and I am happy that I am along for the ride. And I'm happy that I have learned to slow down a bit and enjoy that ride.