Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Yesterday I learned something about calmness. The word derives from the Latin for “the heat of the day”, and I felt like I learned a little something yesterday about being restful when things get really “hot”. Nothing extraordinary happened – just a little confusion as I was using my new computer – but I was proud of the way I remained serene as I dealt with the situation. When I started to get anxious, I just relaxed, stayed cool, and allowed the natural good results to gradually take effect. It’s interesting that the word “calm” originally meant the part of the day in ancient Rome when the sun was the hottest. I can picture the Romans resting in the shade as the day heated up. They obviously knew that there’s no point in fighting the heat – that the easiest way to stay cool is to find your vast reservoir of inner peace, settle into its shade, and let the coolness take over. It’s a lesson I need to continue to learn, day after day. When students grow restive, when a carefully constructed lesson seems to be falling part before my eyes, when a problem feels as uncomfortable as a scorching day in August, I need to seek the shade of my own inner peacefulness. Actually, it’s not my own peacefulness that I need to get in touch with, but the peacefulness of the entire universe. Like the stars, planets, winds, and seas, I need to simply let things happen as beautifully and as naturally as they always want to happen. There’s shade all around me, if I only look – and I discovered this again yesterday.

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