I crave stillness. I want my body, soul, and mind to find peace in the midst of the everyday momentum that hustles me always forward. I have a vision of being a woman who remains calm despite outward circumstances, whose emotions and temperament is not dictated by the swirling motion around me. I seek quiet respites from routine and sweet relief from hurry.
At the same time I desire strength. To be fortified and unshakeable. To stand up for what is good and fight hard against what isn’t. To wield authority. To offer leadership. I want to be someone who is capable and dependable and won’t falter under the pressure of heavy burdens.
Quiet strength. That is what I long for.
Yesterday we took our canoe to a little mountain lake. I am hungry to savor every one of these fall afternoons – the ones when the bright sun tempers the chilly breeze, the ones where the gusts of fresh air swish leaves up before us, the ones where colors are vibrant and life is abundant.
My husband cast his fishing line into the sparkling water and we slowly moved across the lake. I dipped my paddle in the water and watched it ripple through the reflected clouds. The world was so silent, my soul so at rest. The canoe glided gracefully while we gave our full energy to moving against the wind. The water was peaceful but gave forceful resistance to our movement.
That is the kind of quiet strength I’m dreaming about.
Bodies of water produce a heart-soothing beauty. Oceans. Rivers. Lakes. Small streams. It is therapeutic to look at them, to merely stand beside their lapping and crashing and trickling. But to be caught in a rapid, to be tumbled upside down by a wave, to be pushed across a windy lake, then you are suddenly aware of the massive strength water holds. You are small, you are helpless, you cannot go against it.
We think it is either or. Either I am quiet, gentle, still, or I am running hard and fast and strong. Either I am someone who rests well and fills her day with peaceful silence or I am someone who packs her agenda high, accomplishing great things and doing more than anyone thought possible.
Perhaps, like the water, we can be both.
Peaceful and mighty. Gentle and passionate. Gracious and convicted. Kind and firm. Meek and authoritative. Agreeable and opinionated.
Quiet and strong.