Good morning, dear ones far and near. Once again, the rains have watered the earth here in Carolina and the birds are joyously reaping the harvest of earthworms in my side yard. Earlier, a little wren sat on the branch just outside the window and serenaded me for precious moments. Now i hear him out on the rear deck, singing for all he's worth. The grass is green, green, green, and the world seems fresh and new, baptized by the refreshing nightime storms.
And here i sit, reading, thinking about peace, presently reflected in the immediate world around me. Yet in the greater world, the world of which i am a part, as small as that is, of which we are all a part, peace seems only the glowing and unrealistic dream of Polyannas who refuse to admit how threatening the world really is...who are out of touch with life's realities and fears.
Well, count me among them...only i do not consider myself out of touch but rather only too aware of the fragility of life, of the daring it takes to live fully, undaunted by the pervasiveness of fear, certain that as i can find peace within myself, i can project peace outward into the world and make a difference- a drop-in-the-ocean difference, to be sure, but a difference nonetheless. Peace takes courage- so states one of the bumper stickers on my car...so affirmed the young Chinese student who stood in front of tanks in Tiananmen Square...or Nelson Mandela, serving long years in a South African prison...or the Dalai Lama, in exile from his beloved Tibet for most of his adult life. Peace takes courage! And it comes from, begins, within.
To quote Sister Joan Chittister, "The peaceful person knows the grace of being content with who he or she is." And there it is...being CONTENT with who we are...happy with who we are and what we have...and knowing IT IS ENOUGH! It is recognizing and respecting the "other" and the fact that we are inextricably linked. It is unfailingly wishing the best for one another and encouraging, rejoicing in, celebrating, supporting the many ways in which the people around us achieve their fullest potential.
And it is not only doing good in this world- even evil people "do good" in an attempt to curry favor or gain power- but doing no harm. Doing no harm, you see, requires real care and compassion...requires
a true realization of the intrinsic value of EACH person, regardless... regardless of race, creed, ethnicity, tribe, sexuality, social status, gender, age, ability, intellect. It is to see the shining light which emanates from each soul, without which the world becomes an ever-darkening place.
Peace- true peace- is about living what we know, what we believe... embodying it. At a certain point, you see, words become inadequate and only LIVING love, LIVING peace, LIVING acceptance, LIVING integrity will suffice.
May you have a beautiful day, dear ones. Let peace begin with you, wherever you are, whatever this day brings. love, linda