Finding Peace in the Senses

feel peace. In the warmth that settles on my skin. A light breeze teasing my hair. My heart throbs with love overflowing.

hear peace. In leaves that sway, chimes that ring, and a waterfall sending ripples into a bright pool of water.

smell peace. In freshly mowed grass, a baby’s skin, and wafts of soil. 

taste peace. In cinnamon, maple French toast made by a tiger boy with handsome eyes and a heart of gold. 

see peace. In the little boy tiger as he skips along sun-kissed green grass, dinosaurs in tow, to a corner tree, its branches leaning low where he snatches leaves to serve “dino” dinner. Then he nestles them safely in for the night under pods and leaves and soil. While his dump truck slippers hold up under the threat of thorns, rocks and tortoise poo. 

The 110-lb African spurred tortoise saunters, sloth-like, along the perimeter of grass, grazing, then lifting her head to find the boy, anticipating his next ride. And alongside the tortoise, a 10-lb Shih-Tzu rules her brood in a tender way. Her tan spots peek through soft white fur, as her tail—featherlike, sways back and forth with childlike wonder. She comes face-to-face with the tortoise and her eyes soften, knowing the creature is different yet kind. Curious and free. 

And only inches away from mine are eyes like chocolate kisses, almond oval, looking for meaning. Only nine months of life’s experience, she knows how to recognize, trust, and love. She smiles at the angels, waves with awareness, and searches my eyes to know what I know. 

Find your peace. 

In a garden.

In a tiger chasing dinosaurs.

In a wandering reptile.

In a curious puppy.

In a smiling baby. 

I found mine.

Author: Leslie J. Cox

Leslie Cox is a writer of creative non-fiction, focusing on personal essay and memoir. Her essay “My Favorite Chair” was a runner up in the WOW! Women on Writing Q1 2020 Creative Nonfiction Contest, and she published two essays in “Her Vase” in 2020. Her essay "Distracted" appeared in the Pure Slush anthology: "Love, Lifespan," and she has enjoyed contributing to guest blogs and book reviews. Prior to semi-retiring from health care administration in 2019, Leslie wrote and published trade articles and a guidebook for health care professionals for HCPro. When she’s not writing, Leslie tutors students K-12 in the craft of writing, and that fills her up!

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