I've mentioned before that one of my all-time favorite stories is about a king who sends his three sons out on a quest to return with a picture of peace. A year passes, and when they return, two of the sons present sketches of serene settings. The third returns with a sketch of a solid rock face marred by a crack. Emerging from that crack is a tenacious little branch upon which rests a tiny bird. The king's eyes moistened as he looked upon the image, for he knew that a man who understood that true peace must be found despite opposition would make a wise ruler.
I think of that image often. I'm in a relatively quiet stage of life right now. My husband and I are basically quiet people. I'm a little more animated than he, but life is peaceful--we eat what and when we choose, we nap when we like, and we play when we want. I'm free to write most days now.
It sounds lovely, but I miss the chaos of family life from time to time. My memories are rose-colored, I know. I see cherubs racing home from school with with stories and adventures to share, forgetting the pushing and shoving as they dove into the pantry for after-school snacks, and completely ignoring the hectic rush to prepare and serve dinner to four busy kids who had practices, homework and games to attend.
I'm visiting grandkids now, and life is noisy, busy, messy, chaotic and sleepless. Today my four-year-old granddaughter and eighteen-month-old grandson pulled all the pots and wooden spoons out and held a kitchen-band jam session. I aged five years in twenty minutes. But a few minutes later, after that joy lost its thrill and the floor was littered with abandoned cookware, my grandson toddled over to the shelf, pulled down the family's illustrated Book of Mormon, opened a page and searched for the page he loves best--the picture of Jesus. "Ashus" he said with a reverent timbre befitting an angel.
Yes, Christian, "Ashus" is here.
Like the bird on the tenacious little branch, we have to find peace in the storm. It's there. Because of Ashus.