I hurry uphill, out of breath. Instead of sitting quietly at my altar inside, I push and pant to reach the top of the trail before the evening sun sinks from sight. The closest hills are across the valley on the west side of Seneca Lake, but farther west, I see rolling hills thirty miles away.
When I reach the sunset bench, I want to sit, breathe, and watch the apricot orb surrounded by azure skies and luminous clouds.
Willow, my old lady Lab, waits with me next to the bench, breathing hard. Disco, the young mutt, has other ideas and keeps running uphill, around a corner toward the National Forest. I call her, give her a treat, put her on a leash, and walk her back to the bench. She watches me, waiting to see what will happen next.
I sit next to her, pause, and exhale deeply as the sun sinks down my spine and into my belly. I breathe with the changing sky.
“Why are we stopping here?” Disco’s round brown eyes seem to ask.
“Believe me, little girl, there’s no way to explain the healing peace of a winter sunset. Want another cookie?”
We had three calm days in the 40s this week, so it was comfortable to sit outside in winter clothes. How do you find respite or peace during the shifting challenges of our world? For other posts about finding peace on my land, see Give Thanks for the Teaching of Trees. For posts about finding peace during hard times, see The Comfort of Small Things.