Season of Peace

by | Dec 1, 2017 | Editorial

It seems to happen during the week of Thanksgiving every year. Usually there’s a few warm, breezy, and muggy days — though we are deep into autumn, these are the last gasps of summer — before a chilling front moves through and all of sudden it’s winter. I love those mornings afterward. Though I already miss the verdant lushness of our warm months, that first watercolor dawn with naked trees and drab tones is beautiful in its stark austerity. First light offers a stillness that seems unreal in our world that ranks busyness as a virtue. The sun finally peeks through bare tree limbs as sparrows and juncos chirp softly from leafless blackberry brambles. Tranquility envelops my wooded backyard, and I make an effort to get outside in the brisk air to experience it. I take my cues from nature. She’s decided this is the season for slowing down, for finding rest, for reflection on what was, for gestation of ideas about what will be.
Later on these mornings, I can hear the train as it greets Russellville. My mind’s eye follows as it click-clacks down the rails through downtown heading east toward Atkins, my hometown. From nine miles away, here, just south of Dover, the train’s song is comforting and fits the mood perfectly. It pulls my thoughts toward the towns I’ve known since birth, and the people I call friends and family. It’s a cozy sound on frosty mornings.
The blanket of winter peacefulness falls on our communities as well. Even among our businesses, many that count on holiday spending to push them through to the black, there is a sense of calmness. Maybe not calmness, but the energy registers as only a low and pleasing hum of earnestness. Same goes for the shoppers. Same goes for just about everyone. It could be that all of this is just my perception, my idealist fantasy stuck in a rut about all I want it to be. But other folks have told me they see the same thing. And don’t our perceptions shape reality anyway? It’s almost a self-fulfilling prophecy: If you truly believe that this season — blessed to so many for various reasons — is the season of peace and rest then so it shall be.
I’m thankful I live in a region that still moves at a slower pace, and this is most evident during the holidays. Here in the River Valley, it truly is the time for peace and rest.

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