The Hubbell Pew used to get some of its best material from two four year old philosophers, Will and Jake. In a little over a month those philosophers will graduate from high school and head to college, but my other grandchildren still provide a wealth of material. Last week Suzy helped take care of my daughter’s three girls. I offered at best moral support. The “Yingling Three” follow in the tradition of their cousins. They are full of energy, excitement, and emotion.
One night last week the philosophers were having a hard time going to bed to put it mildly, and one of the daughters was experiencing one of those moments where she was overwhelmed by the “no-one loves me’s.” Nothing anyone could say or do worked to console or calm. My daughter was trying to calm the other two down by singing bedtime songs, when the distressed six-year old philosopher told my daughter that she never sings “Silent Night” anymore. Well it was the week after Easter and most of us think “Silent Night” is a song for the Advent season, but sure enough a rendition of “Silent Night” somehow calmed the troubled waters and soon all three girls were sound asleep.
My daughter had every right to be anything but calm and bright that night, but years of practice as a mother had taught her the spiritual practice of keeping calm no matter what the tragedy of the moment creates a protected place of quiet, stillness, and peace. Time has taught her what you allow in and what gets filtered out. It is not easy when someone is out of control, but as St. Francis said, “Patience begets patience.”
The more we practice creating a calm space, the more we are able to draw peace when we need.