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



  1. Carol says:

    Another lovely post. Bravo!

    1. Thank you, Carol.

  2. nutsfortreasure says:

    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. nutsfortreasure says:

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

      2. Oh, I see how it would hold a particularly special meaning to you after that.

      3. nutsfortreasure says:

        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.

  3. nutsfortreasure says:

    Reblogged this on Living and Lovin.

    1. Dear Eunice,
      Thanks so much for the re-blog!

      1. nutsfortreasure says:

        🙂 posted post to my Facebook as well it is worth being reminded!

  4. 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.

    1. Thank you, Mrs. B! So good to hear from you. I appreciate your visit, and hope you are well.

  5. Exceptional story … it shows that not everything is the way it looks.
    I need to reblog. I believe so many will get so much from it.
    Namaste …

  6. Reblogged this on Inside the Mind of Isadora and commented:
    Exceptional story … it shows that not everything is the way it looks.
    Namaste …

  7. ShimonZ says:

    Nice story… I was expecting a different ending, but I like this one as well.

  8. scillagrace says:

    Thank you for another beautiful picture book…and a peaceful storytime!

  9. bulldog says:

    What beautiful words with such magnificent photos… and I understand the connection…

  10. Thanks for the reminder of something I tend to forget. :o)

  11. Amy says:

    …. if there is calm in your heart… beautiful words and photos. Love this post, Naomi!

    1. Thank you, Amy. It is always good to hear from you.

  12. rutheh says:

    Posted on FB and tweeted as everyone should see your perfect post, Naomi.

    1. Dear Ruth,

      You are so generous! Thank you so much.

  13. To me, the short answer is: peace comes from within.
    Another lovely combination of words and pictures, which culminate in an interesting post. Enjoyable to read, Naomi. Thank you.

    1. That is a perfect summary, short and sweet. Thank you, Tess.

  14. frizztext says:

    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.”

    1. Thank you, Frizz. I appreciate your visit.

  15. niasunset says:

    Wonderful writting and photographs. I loved them all. Thank you dear Naomi, love, nia

  16. TBM says:

    That’s wonderful and so true.

  17. All of these pictures immediately made me feel peaceful. I noticed that all of them depicted nature, which tells us what we really need to know, doesn’t it?

  18. frizztext says:

    “…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!”

    1. Thank you for the visit!

  19. adinparadise says:

    Naomi. you’ve really nailed this theme with your gorgeous peaceful photos and story. Love it. 🙂 xx

    1. Thank you, Sylvia!

  20. 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!

  21. Roy McCarthy says:

    Breathtaking pics as usual Naomi – the mountain valley, the empty road as if no one will ever again use it. Great work, thank you.

    1. Hi Roy,
      Thank you for your very generous response. Your eloquent description of the road makes me remember that you are a writer!

  22. diannegray says:

    What a wonderful story, Naomi, and your pictures are stunning 😀

    1. Thank you, Dianne! This was a fun one to choose photos for.

  23. elisaruland says:

    Ahhhh, music to my eyes!

    1. elisaruland says:

      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. I love it! Great minds, they say, think alike.

    2. Thank you so much for your visit, and for your very lovely response!

  24. MythRider says:

    Beautiful photographs.
    Beautiful truth of life.

    1. Thank you so much.

  25. So philosophical, so true, and beautifully illustrated. Thanks, Naomi, for inspiring me, as always 🙂

    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!

  26. Laurel Leigh says:

    What a beautiful story. Thanks for the reminder, in words and images, to look beyond the obvious.

    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. Laurel Leigh says:

        And there’s likely a few dozen lurking in your costume room!

  27. Madhu says:

    Loved the story and the telling! You always have the perfect one 🙂

  28. Jamie Dedes says:

    … and thus another wonderful story. This site is the Little Golden Book for grown-ups ….


    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.

  29. Such stunning photos to illustrate a wonderful story!

  30. Lynne Ayers says:

    I like it all over again – great for your Q

  31. restlessjo says:

    Love it, Naomi 🙂 I must have missed it first time.

  32. Ruth says:

    A lovely story and image, Naomi. In fact, all the images are wonderful, too.

    1. Thank you, Ruth! Peace be with you too!

    1. Thanks so much for the link!

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