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The Daily Post:  Serenity

For this photo challenge, publish an image that conveys serenity.

This was the challenge that pulled up yesterday, but I’m not sure it was the right one. I was having trouble with the link. But here we go.


serenity [suh-ren-i-tee]
noun, plural — serenities for 2
the state or quality of being serene, calm, or tranquil, sereneness

peaceful forestAll my life there’ve been two places where time could stand still for me. Where cares could fall away and I could leave the past behind, stop fearing the future, and live, at least for a little while, in the here and now. One is in a forest. I grew up loving trees. I swear I must have been a Druid in a previous life. No matter the season of the year, of a Sunday afternoon you could usually find our family somewhere around Mohican National Forest in Ohio. Hiking, picnicking, playing in the little hidden pool in Old Man’s Cave… In the Spring we gathered wild flowers, in the autumn, leaves. I was in my element when I was in that forest with its rickety old covered wooden bridges, Dogwood trees, and soft, needle/leaf-strewn carpet.

ocean calmThe other place time caught me up was at the ocean. The eternalness of it was reassuring, the womb sounds it made caressing the beach harkened back to a life even older than birth. I could stand still for hours and listen to the surf unroll itself on the sand then fade away into the next ripples.

The strange thing is, both environments hold an experience of death for me. While hiking down to Old Man’s Cave one winter, my mom slipped on the icy path and would have gone over a ledge had my dad not caught her in time. At the ocean at Devil’s Elbow State Park in Oregon, I was knocked down on the beach by a rowdy surf, a wave pouncing so heavily on me I couldn’t sit up. It damaged my ears, and now when my head is under water I lose all sense of direction.

And yet neither one of these happenings were able to steal the serenity I always experience in these places.

I used to think it odd I could be drawn equally to two such different environments. But I must take into account, I think, that I AM a Gemini. I am two opposite personalities trying to live together companionably in one body, if you believe that sort of thing — and I think I do. For the strange thing is, it really doesn’t matter whether the weather is peaceful and calm, or if there’s a storm brewing. Even in the midst of that turmoil I would still feel serene and at one with the elements.

forest storm 2Storms invigorate me for sure, but I don’t find that they steal my serenity. I can be just as calm and at peace in a thunderstorm in the woods as I can watching the gigantic ocean waves of a stormy sea.

ocean storm

But I’ve figured that out as well, for I’m actually a Gemini born on the cusp of Taurus. What does that mean? If you are born of the cusp of two signs, you will embody the energies of both signs. For me that’s Gemini AND Taurus.

Astrology.com says of those born on the cusp of Taurus/Gemini (May 19 to May 23), “Taurus is the second sign of the zodiac. It begins to physically explore the world. Gemini is the third sign of the zodiac. Moving beyond the physical exploration of Taurus, Gemini examines the world through intellect. Taurus/Geminis tend to be richly sensual, enjoy the good things in life and are fascinated with gathering as much information as possible. Their facility as communicators is unmatched. Taurus/Geminis display great imagination and tend to be very expressive, both physically and verbally.”


So, do I believe in astrology? Not per se, no. But I certainly think there are some physical laws that may hold sway over our personalities depending on the time of year we’re born. And I’m thrilled to know I could travel this continent from side to side and no matter where I ended up I could find the peace and serenity that I need to anchor my Geminirian personality!

Reposted from 1-19-15