The Sweet Seat of Serenity

Located less than a half mile from our door, I’ve come to think of this bench as my serenity bench. A peaceful location to lift lids and check the progress on various pots simmering on the back burner of my mind.

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In front, the Boise River moves languidly, dotted every now and again with Canadian geese and mallard ducks. Behind, I hear the chick-chick sound of birds and squirrels rustling for food; nature’s addition to the hushed steps of walkers on the Greenbelt — a peaceful serenade.

This serenity bench is my go-to place for plunging into some of the deeper pools of thought, and letting go of perceived control — allowing myself to be breathed by that which is greater than I.

Where is your “serenity bench?”

© Laurie Buchanan

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81 thoughts on “The Sweet Seat of Serenity

  1. The whole of my back garden is my “serenity bench”, Laurie, and I actually do have a quiet seating area (complete with a little table for my coffee cup) which overlooks the valley and the mountains. Water is a great calmer of the mind too, a perfect location for you to check on those simmering pots. 🙂

  2. I carry my serenity bench with me or find one in my immediate surroundings because I may have to be gone from home for 19 hours on any given day. It can be a word I carry in my head that centers me. It can be a photo or statue at my office. It can be a tree, bush, or bird soaring in the sky. I can pick anything and give it that purpose.

  3. It is so sweet when we find those places that seem to suggest or invite us to, slow down, or even rest for awhile. Allowing us to unwrap our daily lives. My walks in nature or just the observation of nature along a walk, allows me to be present. This is an ordinary daily event for me, Muffin and my camera. Being at One with it all!

  4. Your serenity bench–well, area–is lovely, Laurie. I don’t have a place. I try to get to the gym almost every day and do an intense workout, and that really helps me. And when I have the time, I love to just sit and read a book, usually with a cup of coffee or tea, and a cat or two at my side. 🙂

  5. Like Barbara I tend to carry my serenity with me, it’s mobility keeps it available for when I need it most. I do have a little something though, a lawn chair under a Redbud tree at the edge of my vegetable garden. The time I spend relaxing in that chair is free time, not house-hold or professional time. It is simply Me time.

  6. When I lived in the midlands we had very old apple tree and I used to love to sit under it and view my garden or shade myself from the sun ( I

  7. Since we moved to a wooded area by a lake we live surrounded by nature, peace and serenity. But there is an actual physical bench too. Bob and I sit by the lake and watch the sunset weather permitting. The amazing thing is that I now live in a place very close to where I used to go to in my mind to meditate and escape the city.

  8. “Allowing myself to be breathed by that which is greater than I.” Your post caught me in the midst of pre-Thanksgiving travel preparation, Laurie. Bag is packed. Christmas gifts loaded into a laundry basket (yes we are celebrating two holidays at once this year). I’ve already had coffee with a college roommate and will have another cup with a former student in a few minutes. Just enough time to sit in the red chair and become aware of that which is greater than I.

    Thanks for sharing your serenity bench and especially the thought of being breathed.

  9. What a gorgeous spot. My special spot is anywhere outdoors where nature rules. This past weekend I was on the Outer Banks of North Carolina … a special spot indeed, especially off season when there are few people around.

  10. I have several benches, rocks, logs and old stumps selected on our various rocks Laurie. There is a favourite though and it is on the end of a point and takes a good walk to reach. By then I have just the right fire burning under what needs reflecting upon. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family and everyone here.

  11. My serenity spot is in my heart; or where I sit now, in my morning room looking out the window, cat on my lap; or on my front deck watching the birds in warm weather; or sitting quietly with my big furry girls.

  12. In the summer, my serenity bench is the swing on my back deck. It overlooks my gardens and the park behind our house where children play In the winter, here in Canada, it would not be serene at all (!) so I find serenity by my fireplace.

  13. Your bench looks perfect! I would be there in a heart beat if I lived in your neighborhood. As it is, my serenity place is in my imagination, eyes closed, breathing in the beauty of the picture it paints in my mind’s eye. It’s convenient, though I can’t always conjure up the smells and the feel of the air on my face. For that I visit Duke Gardens and plant myself somewhere that calls to me, along the edge of the pond, in the woods, perched on an out of the way bench. I would like something nearby as I find I want to be in that space more and more often. Sending you peace for the holiday season and far beyond.

    • Dorothy — I’m going to Google “Duke Gardens,” it sounds absolutely lovely. For the occasions you can’t be there, it’s wonderful that you can transport your “serenity bench” in your mind’s eye.

  14. My serenity spot is my garden – in spring, summer and fall. Unfortunately, not in winter because my garden is buried in snow, barren browns and other bleak things. Then my serenity spot is inside my house -my living room with its potted plants and sitting on the chesterfield reading and even watching TV or in my nearby office writing on my computer. And like another commenter said, I guess inside myself, my thoughts, dreams and ideas.

  15. My world is abundant with places to reflect. In the summer, I curl up with a book and my thoughts on a lawn chair in our earth hug (a previous owner cut into a hill in our front yard and my husband has beautified it.)
    Or…
    Down the road a ways, overlooking the sea, is a bench much like yours, Laurie.
    But now that it is late fall, I join in fellowship with a group of friends, most Fridays. We contemplate life’s larger questions.
    And then, most Tuesdays, I visit you, Laurie. : )

    • Leanne – Having glimpsed a wee bit of Mayne Island through you and Terrill’s vivid word pictures and stunning photographs, I know that you’re surrounded by “serenity benches” galore. And of course the ever-present rhythm of the sea.

  16. I truly need to deep breathe with relaxed breath. I used to need extend ocean surf watching. Lately the focus of Liangong clears my mind and releases refreshed thinking. When I am able – massage therapy is so calming to my wholeness.
    Then of course. The gratitude I feel for Laurie’s concise words , pictures and thoughts. 🐞

    • Patricia — Along with yoga, focused breathwork is one of my mainstays, so I can relate. I just Googled “Liangong” (stress and pain management exercises for those who sit too long, or move way too much). Interesting. Very interesting, indeed!

  17. Hi Laurie

    I’m sitting in my serenity chair.

    I can see and hear the ocean less than half a mile away, and see two peaks over 9,000ft within 20 miles (Ailsa and I spent the night before last camped at over 5,000 ft up one of those mountains, after a serious hike up a riverbed to get there – a great trip and very happy to be back in my chair – with all of its serenity and security.

  18. I love your special spot Laurie. I’m also enjoying the shadings of the power of “Vitamin N” to bring us to the present moment.
    Trees, water and a vista are my go to’s too!
    Val x

  19. I also love the ‘pots simmering on the back burner’ imagery! Yes, we all need a place to unwind and meditate. We have a local park close by (Hudson County Park) that features a wide lake that runners encircle morning through night. There are benches are around the circumference, and Lucille and I and some of the kids often take refuge there when the weather is cooperative. We enjoy watching the activity in a spot that is close to an island and a bird sanctuary.

    I want to wish you and Len a very Happy Thanksgiving, the first in your heavenly surroundings! 🙂

    • Sam — Your Hudson County Park sounds like just the ticket, and I’m glad that you and yours take advantage of what it has to offer. Thank you for the Thanksgiving well wishes. Right back atcha my friend 🙂

  20. I have a few. One is overlooking Twford Down, at the half way point of a twenty odd mile walk with the river and fields below and horses behind. There’s another along the river in a park I often walk in with swans and ducks and a pretty bridge and yet another at the end of the boardwalk near my office. Sometimes we just need time to sit.

  21. We live very close to the Greenbelt. There are many lovely benches in Boise along the Boise River, but my serenity bench is in Eugene, Oregon. It’s called Bill’s Bench. My husband and I got married there :).

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