Anyone who moves often experiences a sense of displacement.
This feeling can be especially strong for immigrants who leave their place of birth, the cradle of their collective and personal memories.
This special place is universally called home.
The distance from loved ones but also the absence of familiar landscapes reinforce the feeling of foreignness and trigger some restlessness.
Often another special place is needed to bring back a sense of serenity.
After several moves in the United States, following our big move from France, my husband and I weren’t initially aware that we were searching for serenity.
And yet when we discovered this place, calmness draped its light but safe cape on our shoulders. The feeling was strong and familiar, almost palpable.
Our son was a newborn, and the girls had already changed homes several times. When they ran toward the small cove where water licked the creaking dock, they must have also felt peace because they wanted to stay.
Since then we’ve moved four more times.
Sad and disturbing events in our personal lives and in the world have happened.
The feelings of displacement and restlessness that accompany them, however, haven’t overpowered us.
Even far from the lake cabin, a photo is etched in our minds.
Serenity, I gather, is unique for each of us.
For my family, this is what serenity looks like.