Last week, a friend brought me, and helped me install the most wonderful present I could ever receive. A Peace pole. How well he knows and loves me!
Look at this — and look how happy I was the night my friend gifted me with beautiful, colorful Peace on stick!
It’s planted right outside my door. When I posted this on Facebook, someone suggested what a wonderful reminder it would prove as I left my house to take Peace with me. Indeed. I try to keep Peace on my heart and in the forefront of my mind, but you know, we all encounter that rude driver with whom we feel inclined to share exactly how we feel about their driving — which is rarely Peaceful. So, Hello, Peace Pole. May I always take your message with me as I set out in the world.
It was not my intention to write this week’s blog as a follow up to last week’s. But then there were those November Days — which were late Summer/early Autumn days — completely out of season in which I braved the chilly waters of the lake at Half Way Dam and water walked. Twice. Such Joy, even as I had to dance around in order to catch the Sun and not become too chilly as the Sun sets earlier in the mountains and casts a shadow on the lake.
Later that evening, a full Moon rose in a clear, still light sky. I walked past a couple sitting outside a restaurant and laughed with them in recognition that they’d gotten the Moonside table. They’d had no idea it was a Full Moon that night. It will probably be the last night they’ll sit outside to eat until the other side of Winter. They’d even put their phones down to observe and appreciate this month’s celestial spectacle!
The reason I capitalize Joy when I’m writing about Peace is because I’m writing about something larger than small joys.
Some reading helped me to discern how real that distinction might be. In particular, I was wondering if people with depression can experience Joy. Although depression means a lessening of possibility to experience Joy/joys, there can still be a place for it.
In particular, I’m referring to a focus on those things that make me feel particularly alive. For me, that is being in what scriptures refer to as Living Water. It’s a challenge for me right now that the temperatures have dropped and I am not walking in the water. I haven’t replaced that yet, neither the exercise nor the experience.
Peace is possibility. Endless possibility. This was the conclusion a friend and I drew at the end of a long conversation.
Possibility exists, but it’s not necessarily easy, any more than Peace is easy. But both are so worth the labor!
There are probably two challenges I struggle with most when working on Peace and Peacemaking. The first is keeping Peace grounded. It’s easy for people to talk about Peace as something ephemeral… which very quickly becomes not real; not possible. Peace is Possible. Peacemaking can be an act as small as extending a supportive hand. In fact hand offered to hand — offered to another hand — and on, and on — is probably the most concrete building block in Peace. Seeing people. Acknowledging their need. Extending a hand that may help or comfort is a foundational to Peacemaking. That extended hand helps people realize that not only can they survive, but they also now have the ability to thrive. There’s nothing ephemeral about surviving and thriving.