Listen to this week’s Devotional here.
Peaceful Piggy Meditation
Author: Larry Dansky
By slowing down, peaceful piggies notice all the magical little things in life, like the way raindrops race each other down the window… the ways clouds tell silent stories…and the ways birds sing songs just for you. – from Peaceful Piggy Meditation
I have been volunteering at my granddaughter’s high school (New Vista High) as an adult presence in a space they call The Center. The Center is a room in the school where a student can go if they are in need of a ten-minute, quiet de-stress period. The room (designed by a former student) has quiet stations where students can rest, do yoga, use essential oils, sip tea, or whatever it takes to decompress. When I heard that about the concept and the need for parent (or grandparent) volunteers, and knowing how much stress students are under in today’s world, it didn’t take me long to offer my time.
One Friday morning, when there were no students needing the room, I spotted a children’s book called Peaceful Piggy Meditation. When I read the above quote from the book, all I could do is smile, and think about how much we could learn from children’s stories. What a great reminder to slow down and become mindful of the wonders of nature around us!
Then the principal came onto the intercom, and announced that the school would be having security drills and lockdown drills. “Know that this is just a drill” he repeated often. I have to admit, it was unnerving for me, but just another day in the life of these kids. I kept thinking how much this must affect this younger generation. What is it like to grow up with frequent lockdown drills and even worse, active shooter drills in school. I followed the instructions to lock the door to my room and turn off the lights. As I sat in the empty room, I felt depressed as I thought about the threats of violence in our country today. Then I heard one of the school staff check the door to ensure it was locked. I knew that this was all part of the drill, but my mind went to a place where that could have been an active shooter trying to get into the room. I began imagining what I would need to do to protect any students that might have been in the room. Where would we be able to hide, where might we run in order to escape?
I now fully understand why our youth seem overly stressed, and why we need decompression rooms in our schools. How many school shootings are we going to need to experience before our country agrees to common sense gun violence measures? Tomorrow is the tenth anniversary of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown Connecticut (20 elementary students, 6 staff killed). February 14th, 2023 will mark the fifth anniversary of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland Florida (14 high school students, 3 staff killed). It has been less than a year since the Robb Elementary School shooting in Uvalde, Texas (19 elementary students, 2 staff killed). This is not a healthy environment for our youth! We cannot allow this to become the norm in our society!
The drills were completed and classes resumed. It was all just part of a routine day in the life of these students. I was thankful that this school realizes the need for a place for kids to decompress when stressed. I went back to the Peaceful Piggy Meditation book. I personally needed to re-center. I looked out the window, and let the clouds tell me a story and the birds sing me a song.
Holy spirit, I pray for our young adults and what they experience in this chaotic world today. Guide us as we work toward a more peaceful and less violent society. Remind us all to slow down and to treat each moment as a blessing.