The Very Picture

The king was plagued with the heavy burden of responsibility. “Drought and famine, war and rebellion, disease and disaster, one after the other!  I must find a way to quiet my troubled heart, so I can sleep at night!”  He offered a reward to the artist who could paint him a picture of perfect peace.  Artists came from all over the kingdom, each bringing his own vision of peace.

 

One painted a sheltered mountain valley.

Another a pristine lake, still and calm, a perfect mirror to reflect a clear blue sky.

There was an orchard in full bloom.

Fluffy clouds with silver linings.


Cheerful sunny days.

And so many sunsets!

The king studied them all, and at last he decided.  He chose a painting of a waterfall, tumbling down a mountainside, beneath a dark, angry sky.

“But your majesty,” said his counselor. “Why this painting? This is a portrayal of chaos.”

“Look closely,” said the king.  He pointed to a sheltered spot behind the waterfall, where there was a ledge between the jagged rocks. Upon that ledge a mother bird had built her nest.  Snuggled beneath her wings, safe and warm, were her precious chicks.

“I understand now,” said the king. “Peace happens not only where there is an absence of strife and suffering.   In the midst of chaos, if there is calm in your heart, will you know the true meaning of peace.”

(Mrs. Bradford Ripley and Her Children, 1852. By Robert Walter Weir, Detroit Institute of Art)

(Sculpture for his friend Robert Arthur by Samuel Murray, Detroit Institute of Art)

Copyright 2013 Naomi Baltuck

Click here for more interpretations of The Weekly Photo Challenge: Enveloped.

Click here for more interpretations of the Weekly Travel Theme: Peaceful

65 Comments

  1. Oh how I loved that story and to follow along with your photos and I am one who knows all of that is the TRUTH Thanks as always. HUGS LOVED IT

    1. Dear Eunice,
      I am so glad the story spoke to you! I am practicing the art of inner peace as I settle into my own little empty nest, and the story helped me a great deal. Thanks you so much for letting me know.

      1. It moved me to tears after having gone for my 10 days of silence it could not help but Speak to me.

      2. It is why I went to go within and let go and to Be Happy which finally I am 🙂

        Must spread the word for so many others is this world and baby birds are right outside my window I am blessed she picked my kitchen window 🙂 she trust me as I sit up there every day with the dog.

  2. Hi Mrs. B. I know that the nest was perched on a steadfast bough harnessed in the protection of HIS grace. Most times, we find HIS peace when we keep still in HIS presence despite the chaos of the world.

    Thank you for the reminder, the beautiful photos and the captivating story.

  3. nice story and pointe: “Peace happens not only where there is an absence of strife and suffering. In the midst of chaos, if there is calm in your heart, will you know the true meaning of peace.”

  4. “…war and rebellion,
    disease and disaster,
    one after the other!

    I must find a way
    to quiet my troubled heart,
    so I can sleep at night!”

  5. You may find peace and serenity hidden deeply into your soul! We did look at it when we still were kids…
    growing up we beginned to oppress the “little boy” inside our hearts, starting to see things through the lens of “maturity”, and behold, everything has changed,,,
    I wish you a lovely weekend :-)claudine

    1. Dear Claudine,
      Thank you for your thoughtful response! The world does look very different through a child’s eyes. I wonder sometimes if that isn’t part of the joy of having children.
      I hope you have a lovely weekend too!
      Naomi

    1. I thought I was the first person to ever say that…until I googled it. Is it possible that everything’s been said at least once, already?? 🙂

    1. Dear Sarah,
      It is always good to hear from you. But you are a well of inspiration and creativity–with a fresh voice that can consistently find wry humor and poetry in the most unexpected ways and places!

    1. Dear Laurel,
      Thank you so much for the kind response. This last week I learned from you that stories can be found in abundance among the aisles and on the dusty shelves of the Salvation Army Thrift Store!

    1. So funny! Thanks for stopping by, Jamie. I loved reading your post about your Little Golden Books. It struck a chord. I still have a couple from my own childhood.

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