On the fifth day, G‑d filled the seas with fish and other water animals. Into the air above the earth He put many birds of all kinds and colors and sizes.

It’s windy and a bit chilly outside. The wooden wind chimes on our thirteenth-floor balcony clank and tinkle. The Cocunut palms down below make a hushing, rushing noise as the breeze rustles their now-disheveled fronds. The sound swishes upward, through the open slider to my bedroom.

I see birds gliding, enjoying the ride. They surrender to the current as it carries them.

I want that kind of serenity.

I may never have actually experienced what I think of as serenity. I may not even know what serenity is, let alone where to look for it.

What does it feel like?

Maybe it’s a magical, peaceful feeling that totally engulfs me 24/7. With this feeling, I would never feel stress, fear or anxiety. That’s a nice idea, but I know it’s not reality.

Perhaps a more realistic view of serenity is to think of it as acceptance that resides deep within me, at my core.

Maybe it’s something that I haven’t yet tapped into or acknowledged. It may be small, but it will continue to grow.

And I will learn to recognize and feel little moments of this acceptance and surrender in my life.

With the help of others and our Higher Power, G-d, I find serenity when I accept my life — past and present, and learn to trust the future.

As part of this shift in mindset, I learn that serenity is possible.

I understand that I won’t feel it always, but it will be present enough to change my life.

It is a presence, always there, always accessible.

On this day I will remind myself that I already have serenity inside me.

It is up to me to grow it by building acceptance and trust through prayer and connection with others, one step at a time.

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