I love the book, Five Minutes’ Peace by Jill Murphy. It’s about Mrs. Large who tries to escape for a bubble bath with her tea, toast, cupcake and newspaper–just for five minutes. I could have told her mothers never get five minutes peace if they’re in the bathroom. Laundry room, maybe. But a mother in a bathroom is a natural child magnet.
Peace is about so much more than quiet anyway. Not that quiet is bad, it just doesn’t necessarily mean peace. We all know children and prolonged quiet often mean trouble.
I don’t even think peace means absence of problems or stress. Problem-free, stress-free times that last more than a few hours, set me on edge because I know it won’t last. Kind of like waiting for the other shoe to drop.
Don’t get me wrong. I love those moments of quiet, when I can read a chapter of a book without interruption. Or that feeling when I get a room cleaned and I know it will stay that way for at least five minutes. I especially love those moments we’re playing a family game and everyone is having fun and laughing, before the first quarrel breaks out.
But the really good kind of peace, the kind you can feel deep down in your core, even when things are really bad, or kids are fighting or the house is a mess, that peace needs to be refilled occasionally or we run out. Without that peace, life gets overwhelming.
Over at Countingducks, he gets his peace on his early morning walk, feeding apples to the horse in the field. How cool is that.
For me, some time at the little chapel at my church can fill my “peace tank”. I can go in there and just bask in the quiet. But it’s much more than just quiet. I feel rejuvenated when I leave. Sometimes the peace shimmers on my surface for a little while, and nothing fazes me, not even an overflowing toilet (happens at our house more often than it should). Sometimes, as soon as I walk in the door at home, I’m frazzled again. But it’s a more peaceful frazzled. Seriously.
If peace could be made into an everlasting gobstopper, we could just suck peace out of them all day, put them on our nightstands before bed and grab them the next morning. What a world that would be.
But I would still go to my little chapel.