The Face of Serenity

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.




  1. Given that picture, I can see how that would represent serenity. It’s beautiful.

    • Each one of us feels more grounded and thus at peace in certain places. This one is very special to me, and I’m happy it is for my family as well. Looking at what other bloggers think of serenity, it is evident that water has the power to calm us. Thank you for visiting me, Dan.

  2. Ahhh . . . ! In the early 1980s, when I lived in Washington, D.C., I read an article about how many renters on Cape Cod had to move twice a year. Landlords would only rent from October through May, or mid-September through mid-June, so they could jack up the rents for the tourists. How appalling! I thought. Then I moved to Martha’s Vineyard. In my first three years I moved eight times. It slowed down a lot after that, but still I’ve moved 12 times in not quite 30 years. It’s changed my relationship to place, and to possessions, and to the economic system that thinks that maximizing profit is good sense. Something like 20 percent of the Vineyard population moves twice a year. This includes a lot of kids, who move at the beginning and the end of the school year. Probably the most shocking thing is that within a year or two I thought this was normal.

    • Moving can be challenging, I agree with you, Susanna. Especially with kids who go to school. However the plus side is to get to discover other places, other people, and to keep on open mind. My children were quick to meet other children and get used to different schools. Ultimately it is has been great to experience different locations. However a small nest to regroup has been great to get a sense of home in this big country.

  3. Beautifully put. Beautiful photo. As one who is frequently changing locations, I completely understand that ‘sense of displacement’

  4. bel article…

  5. Ah, is this Maine? Maine for me has always equalled serenity. But also lakes, mountains, places that make you switch off your cell phone, take a deep breath, admire the beauty around you, and forget all your daily nagging concerns. Here’s to a new year filled with health, happiness, family, friends … and serenity.

    • Yes, Kimberly, this is Maine. And this is probably not very original to write that serenity is my state of mind there, because many people would also use serenity when they speak of Maine. I totally agree with you that leaving our beloved high tech toys behind for a day spent surrounded by nature is a great way to meet serenity.

  6. Evelyne, you are strong and adventurous beyond what most would accomplish. I do admire you. Hugs!

  7. What a beautiful post Evelyne – I totally connect to this peaceful scene, where the heart is.

  8. That image is beautifully serene Evelyne, as are your words. Despite your challenges it’s clear that you have found that serenity within.

    • Thank you, Andrea. Serenity can be found in many different ways, I’m sure. For me, a place to return whenever possible, no matter where we are for most of the year, brings this feeling.

  9. It is so wonderful that you found your place of serenity for your family Evelyne. Your photo captures it beautifully. For me also, serenity is found by the water but I think I am too splintered to find that one special place to return to, despite my longing to do so. Beautiful post my friend.

    • Thanks, Sherri. Water, I noticed is very popular when people think of serenity. Although water is a great component for me, too, this place is really the only one that is common to our entire family. So this is really special and thinking of it keeps me grounded, wherever I am. See you soon, Sherri.

  10. This is a special place for all of you – it is the constant place as well as a place of serenity in your lives. I am sure your family has wonderful memories bound up here and will make many more. Someday I hope to come and visit you and see this beautiful spot for myself.

  11. impressive and emotional… ton post est vraiment touchant, Evelyne… ❤ P.S. tu l'as publié le 16/01 – le jour de mon anniv'… 🙂
    * * *
    bonne santé et une fin de semaine sereine! amicalement, Mélanie

  12. Meilleurs voeux tardifs d’anniversaire, Melanie! Merci pour ton commentaire qui me va droit au coeur. A plus tard.

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