Peace ― You’re Exactly Where You’re Meant to Be

backyard snow

Backyard Snow by Pat Ruppel © 2013

I struggle with this time of year ― cold and snowy. Everything slows down and it’s smart to stay off the roads, if I no longer have to be anywhere or commute.

When I’m warm and comfortable at home, I fight the urge to withdraw and drop-off-the-radar.

Funny, how we dream of different things. Then, when they change to what we dream, we look for something else. I wonder, “Why is that?” 

Two years ago, my life was quite different. I was working full-time, commuting 45 minutes, up and down the mountain, while going through chemo and radiation treatments. Life was chaotic and busy.

Though I loved my job and interaction with coworkers, I longed for downtime and rest ― peace. Then, it happened.

My treatments turned out good, but my company reorganized and my job was outsourced. That turned out good, too, and I could retire and be home. I had been in between jobs before but this time was different. It felt like the timing was right but I didn’t know why or for what.

Now, new directions and insights are beginning to form and I have a fresh dream. I find myself longing to explore and visit beautiful places in my neighborhood and around the world. I see myself meeting interesting people and taking photos. I envision listening to their stories and writing about the adventures.

Renowned photographer, Trey Ratcliffe, on his website “Stuck in Customs”, understands dreams and achieving peace in moving to New Zealand a couple of years ago. In his photo below, he captures the beauty and tranquility calmly waiting to be discovered. Also below, is a photographic video he put to music with a song from Paul Schwartz called “Turning to Peace”.

milford sound by trey ratcliff

Milford Sound Mystery Mist © Trey Ratcliffe – Stuck in Customs (

What I’m realizing, in these quiet times when life has slowed down, is that peace isn’t always silent or doesn’t always show up in serene places. Peace is the feeling in your heart when you lay your head down at night. It’s a knowing that all the things you’ve done have brought you to this perfect place and is exactly where you are meant to be.

For now, while the snow falls, I’m content to remain with my peaceful dreams of places and people waiting for me to find them and share with you.

Pat from the ol’ kitchen table


20 thoughts on “Peace ― You’re Exactly Where You’re Meant to Be

    • Hi Patricia – thank you and I’m glad you enjoyed it. I think it’s becoming more clear as to what is possible in my life. I’ve tried in the past to make things happen but it never really worked out the way I felt. Now, I’m just appreciating this time, watching to see what unfolds poised to take action and make the best of it.

      I’m looking forward to reading all about it too, my friend. It’s good to see you back.

        • You’ve been busy, Pat. Congratulations on your book. I read a little of the preview and it really looks interesting. Thank you for the new link. I think I only had the “The Italian Thing” link. I’ll have to check into your book a little more. It looks good.

          I have a fellow blogger, Susan Nelson, who also writes about Italy. In fact, her blog was just named on the short list for Italy Magazine and is up for voting to see who makes it. If you’re interested, you might like her blog. It’s called “Timeless Italy” at I love her stories and photos. It makes me feel like I’m right there with her.

  1. Dear Pat, you have contentment in your heart which is a gift from God. I feel that with that sound-proofing that snowfall brings with it, so the noises from a confused and angry world are shut out, albeit temporarilly, and for you, now, you are able to lie down at night with peace in your heart as you await the next stage in your life journey. Thank you for sharing the beautiful photo and link, New Zealand is a country I would love to visit one day. I am so happy that your treatments were successful. You inspire me with the beauty of your writing and shared, innermost thoughts. I look forward so much to sharing the journey with you and I hope that I may be able to gain some of that peace. For me, the noises are clambering a little too loudly, so I take refuge here, just for a time…
    God bless you my dear friend.

    • Sherri – you can take refuge here anytime, my friend. I remember those days and the chaos. Now, when I look back on them I wonder what happened to all that time. It seems like a blur. After almost 2 years being retired, I’m just now beginning to slow down the chatter in my head, appreciate my life, look around and really see what’s there.

      Thank you for your kind words on my treatments and that they were successful. I have much to be thankful for. Who knows where my next journey will take me but, at least for now, I’m hoping to be ready for it and more aware.

      If you get a chance, I hope you’ll watch that New Zealand video. The photos by Trey are awesome and the accompanying music is sweetly peaceful and inspiring. You’re welcome on my journey anytime. It makes me happy that I can take you somewhere even if it’s only in spirit.

      Blessings to you too. 🙂

      • It’s amazing isn’t it how that can happen, after two years you are at last able to take stock and be at peace in your life where you are here and now. I churn about so much, the small hours of the morning are the worst for me. It’s been like this for years. I find writing really helps though as I have a creative and also an emotional outlet. And of course, the wonderful friends like you who I’ve met here.
        I have to make sure not to ‘miss the moment’ so many times.
        Bless you so much Pat, you are an inspiration and I admire you greatly.
        Big hugs coming over to you from a wet, cold England 🙂

        • Big hugs coming over to you from polar-cold Colorado in the good ol’ US-of-A. I know what you mean about being antsy and anxious in the wee hours of the morning. I’ve had many a nights like that myself wondering, “what in the world is going on”. (I wrote a story in my free e-book called “Sleepless in Bailey” on that restlessness, if you’re interested.)

          I’m glad I can help and be of some source of inspiration, Sherri. I value your friendship and love the sharing and connection we have. 🙂

  2. Here in central Canada we have experienced an exceptionally cold and snowy winter. Today I read an article that made me thankful for this cold winter…the experts who study insects say that the cold weather has likely killed off the bugs that have been threatening a specific type of tree that would have been totally destroyed. Pat, I didn’t know that you had gone through a bout with cancer…great that things unfolded the way they did and you are at a peaceful place.

    • I can only imagine how cold it’s been up there, Bev. With the polar vortex dipping further south than usual, we’ve gotten a taste of it. Colorado is cold at times in the winter but this is unlike some of our southeastern states have experienced. It’s good to hear this cold will kill off some of the threatening insects.

      We have pine beetle here that has devastated a lot of our forests. I brought in a load of wood to stack by the fireplace and late one night heard some light scratching. The wood is supposed to be treated for pine beetle before selling it. I don’t know if this is what the sound was but took no chances and took it back outside where it was cold so whatever it was would go dormant again until I burned it. Doesn’t take very much for the insects to fly from tree to tree and infest them. We’ve been fortunate and have not had that happen.

      Yes, I did have a bout with cancer the end of 2011 and was very blessed to be put in the best hands. It was a miracle, actually, how it all turned out. I had never gone through anything quite like that before and was thankful it could be treated. I briefly wrote about it in a post when I started back writing again on my blog. If you’re interested in reading it, you can search for it at “New Beginnings – Changes ~~ to live or die”. Interesting time of my life when there was a lot going on and didn’t know when the next shoe was going to drop. It was a wake-up call for sure.

      It’s taken me awhile to settle into this new life. I keep looking around thinking I need to be somewhere or do something. What I’m realizing is that I just need to learn how to be good at being. I’m getting better at it as each day passes.

      Thank you for coming by and sitting at my kitchen table for a spell, Bev. I’ve enjoyed having you here, my friend. 🙂

      • Pat, I will definitely return to read your post “New Beginnings…” I have a family member and close friend going through chemo and later surgery; also lost a couple of family members to cancer…it certainly would change one’s perspective on life to go through a life threatening illness. I enjoy being at your table Pat where it is warm and cozy. xxx

        • I’m sorry to hear of your family members and friend dealing with cancer, Bev. It certainly is something that will stop you in your tracks and force you to reassess the meaning of life. I pray they will come through it with positive results and live to share another day with their love and experience.

          Hugs my friend.

  3. Pat, I love this piece. I can so relate to what you’ve said in so many ways. When I first found myself out of work, it was as if the rug had been pulled out from under me. I struggled with what to do next. When I finally settled done and started to take stock of where I was and what the world had to offer, it was as if a vail had been lifted and I could see clearly for the very first time. The rest is history and I now look to each day as a new adventure.

    • I can relate to what you’re saying, Susan. It did feel like a rug was pulled out from under me. It’s taken me awhile to settle into this new life and to finally realize I’m home. That I’m not supposed to rush out and land another job (though the $ would be good) like I’ve done before.

      I’m still in the throws of taking stock of what I can do from home and wondering what in the world can I offer. I’m still at a loss on that so I continue doing what I know for now until I’m shown something else and that is to write stories, keep up with my blog and network. I’m glad I have kept up with my blog and networked as I enjoy having friends like you that write about their encouraging adventures.

      I know one day I’ll have that success story to write, like you, when I’ll know I’ve finally arrived. Don’t think it’s too far off — the veil hasn’t quite lifted yet. Thanks for stopping by, my friend. I’m glad you enjoyed the read and spent some time with me at my kitchen table. 🙂

    • Thank you – I’m glad you like the changes to my site, Denise. You’re always welcome at my kitchen table.

      It is amazing how our lives change — we never know what’s going to show up to make the change. We can only hope when it does show up we have the faith and can be strong to ride it out. I’m glad I’m still here, too. I wrote a story about it back in 2012 when I was getting back to writing posts and blogging. If you’re interested in reading it, you can search for “New Beginnings – Changes ~~ to Live or Die”. 🙂

I would love to hear from you. . .thank you for stopping by.

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