The moon sat veiled behind clouds as we arrived at the RV park just before midnight. My husband pulled into our allotment, and with the aid of a headlamp, hooked up the RV to water and electric. The kids and I, woozy and tired from the dark, winding journey through the mountains of southern Utah, stayed inside the camper and fell into a fitful sleep, unaware of the stunning scenery surrounding us.
We woke up to sunlight pouring through the windows spilling onto every surface like a slow syrup. I peeked outside through the window and as my eyes adjusted to both the light and the peaks rising in the distance, I gasped at the beauty of the mountains surrounding us in a rising circle.
Waking with the sun after a late night of travel left us sleep-starved and hungry. My husband and I wandered down the dirt road, past a parade of various sized RV’s, to the small camp store in search of a cup of coffee. Hidden behind postcards, wet wipes, canned beans, and a rack of Bryce Canyon t-shirts, we found a well-used coffee maker, and my husband made a cup while I leaned against the counter and rested my morning eyes.
A hand-written sign next to the coffee maker indicated a breakfast of pancakes and bacon could be purchased for $3.50, and my stomach growled at the thought of a cooked meal versus the bowl of Lucky Charms waiting for me in the RV. The scent of bacon wafted into the shop as it crisped on the outdoor grill, and it followed us all the way back to the RV as we gathered our kids to join us.
A husband and wife team manned the outdoor griddle and grill, and the five of us said quiet hellos to the couple while we poured orange juice into small Dixie cups and steeped Lipton tea in white styrofoam. We sat down at a picnic table with the sun warming our backs—the promise of a hot day of hiking ahead. The sun kneaded out the knots in my shoulders as I sat sipping my Dixie cup of juice to the sizzle and pop of bacon and hotcakes.
As we sat, my eyes traced the rise and fall of the mountains surrounding us, and I felt the glow of peace growing in my chest. The noise of everyday life—the buzz of alarm clocks, the hum of traffic, and the ever-present requests for my time and attention—disappeared. My own incessant inner chatter slowed to a sweet silence. I exhaled fully for the first time in weeks. I’d been holding my breath against the push and pull of every day life, and this morning of simple pleasures was an invitation to shalom and rest.
So often, I miss the invitation to quiet. To simplicity. To essentials. To surrender. Peace knocks, and I refuse to respond because there are dishes to wash and words to write and errands to run and children to shuttle. I imagine Peace lowering her hand from the door of my soul and biding her time until tomorrow. She tries again and again, but my ear isn’t tuned to the invitation. On this morning of pancakes and bacon, of birdsong and beauty, I recognized the sound of her hand against my soul. I opened the door and answered.