I went swimming on Monday night. I haven’t been in awhile, but I had been working on a difficult report and needed to get out of the house and move my body a little.
Back and forth across the pool, my mind unable to hold a steady thought, “peace like a river” popped in and out. Why like a river?
At the end of my last lap, I leaned against the edge of the pool, removed my googles and saw a rainbow. The sky was dark, and the wide band of faint colors shot straight up from the ground into the clouds.
When I emerged from the pool, I noticed the other side of the sky – orange and pink clouds, glowing brighter and brighter as the sun sank into the sea. I wrapped my towel around me and turned a deck chair around to watch the east and west skies. Rainbow…sunset…rainbow…sunset… Neither of them was possible without the right combination of sun and cloud. Peace like a rainbow. Peace like a sunset.
The beauty of the sunset grew, and colors melded and brightened then lightened then faded. Clouds and movement created the beauty and peace.
Movement. Still air is not peaceful. A breeze is. Sitting on a porch swing is more peaceful than sitting on a wooden bench. Rocking back and forth is peaceful. The rise and fall of a sleeping baby’s chest is peaceful. A still pond is not peaceful. A gurgling stream is.
On the other hand, too much movement is turmoil. Gale force wind, someone pushing the porch swing too hard, a tantruming baby, white-water rapids.
“Peace like a river”? I sense it now – clean, rippling, with smooth pebbles lining the bottom, coolly splashing around my ankles. Massaging, soothing, refreshing. It streams from a deep source and flows into the vast ocean. “Love like an ocean…”