Even if you’re not Australian, you should see The Castle. A fantastic Aussie film that captures all that is true and good about being an Australian family.
Now I’m in the US, I still say catchphrases from this film, even in different settings. Here, the Trading Post is turned into Craigslist. The muttering under my breath when someone’s listed something with a few zeroes on it is still “Tell him he’s dreamin'”
And the phrase “How’s the serenity?” Well, I’ve worked it out. It’s a snow storm.
I remember the first blizzard we had after living here a few months. It was coming in, and people were buying up bread and milk at the supermarket. To us, that’s kind of like a tropical storm warning. So I stocked up, too. I think I expected it to be like a thunderstorm – a noisy and ferocious reminder of the power of nature. I didn’t know. I hadn’t even seen snow for years and years, and even then it was only on a couple of days as a young child in England on holiday with my parents.
Well, it came down. And down and down. The white stuff was stunning. Big fat flakes of stunning. Like icing sugar on the trees, falling everywhere.
And silent. It made no sound at all. In fact, it seemed to take sound out of the air. Suddenly you’re in a vacuum. You can’t hear anything.
And if you just stand there in the middle of it, and you let yourself, you can hear peace. You can slow down. And you can just feel the beauty of it all. Even in the freezing cold, you just can’t stop looking at it. You don’t want to go back inside.
“How’s the serenity?” It’s a sigh. It tells me, as an Aussie who is reminded of the force of nature and power of God, the universe and all of creation through tragedy and horror of bushfire and flood, that there is a force of nature that is simple, good and silent in an incredibly positive and empowering way.
A way that touches you, and reminds you that we will never truly understand nature, but its beauty is always there.
While I pray for all those at home affected by our current tragedy, I hope that we can remember the beauty and calm of nature at her best. I fear that in our focus on her amazing power and the destruction she can afford, we sometimes can forget her power of beauty and serenity.