Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Morning Had Broken In The Peace Garden*

Cat Stevens certainly had it right, our beloved "Peace Train" artist/song writer--  In our Peace Garden "Morning had broken, like the first morning..." but no black birds speaking from here. We certainly have our hummingbirds, robins, blue jays, owls, hawks & their relations, so far this season.

Last week was challenging as it became necessary for me to write some letters to two of our local papers in response to a politician in our town who behaves less than gentlemanly at times. He chose to have printed in our town's local paper some rather inaccurate & unkindly remarks about moi' & the commission I am part of.  Because I am the chair of this commission this person of unkindly deed chose to criticize me publicly rather than getting in touch with me for a conversation on the topic of an idea our commission had suggested our town consider.  I certainly have no qualms with constructive criticism, but inaccuracies & half truths were a bit much to deal with especially in a public forum.  So last week I composed letter after letter, doing what my heart & mind told me was the right thing to do.  I had even submitted two different letters to two different local papers.  I was confident with these decisions, but still there was something in me that felt, well it still didn't do it for me, & it resonated with me many a morning.  In the mid part of last week I received several emails from a fellow commission member, he had only recently returned from being out of town extensively.  What he shared with me further opened my mind, for though my letters were good, & I was totally confident with what they had to say they addressed the issue at hand honestly and accurately speaking my truth, as that is only what a person can do at any given time is--  to speak their personal truth. Ultimately I was not totally comfortable with a situation that I was about to allow myself to become part of, this became obvious to me at 2:30AM of the Wednesday of last week.  So I emailed one of those papers at that hour & thankfully my request arrived in a timely fashion & my requests were honored.  One letter I was told  by the editor-- "You just made it.", as it was only several hours away of being printed. It very much felt like one of those old time movies of-- "Stop the presses!" .  What preceded those phone calls of pulling the letters was an exchange of emails with one of our well respected commission members. I realized from what he said & shared was that I did not have to go forward & respond at that time. I also realized that in many ways I was responding because I was angry, as I was publicly insulted by being insinuated in inaccuracies that could be believed for the half truths they expressed & could then take on a life of their own with his truth.  Yes the pen is mightier than the sword, but I was being tested as to how not to participate in a war of words, & I know I don't do war.  All week as I was putting together letters, their drafts & all, all the time I would ask myself-- What would the Dali Lama do? What would Mother Teresa do?  And then the emails from a friend, emails just in time, & so very late into all of this.

I definitely had an angel on my shoulder last week, but I've come to realize we always have an angel on our shoulders, we don't walk this path alone.  We have love, guidance & care, but it is always up to us to be open to receive it.  This can & does come to us from the people in our lives, as we all are on a path & we all learn & grow from these experiences -- to fully flower to be better at being people, our true purpose-- being better people.

In the end I did write a 5th letter, [as the other 2 each of course had their 1st drafts] , this my fifth letter truly states my position as truthfully as I could in words.  My latest recent letter is free of any anger, merely describing the intention of the idea that was put forth by our commission, yet dispelling the inaccuracies & half truths without malice. The editor of our town's local paper was most patient, supportive & open to my request of a resubmission,  for though the original letter I had sent to her was good I felt it still had it's hint of anger & I did not want any of that put forth. Yes anger is real, & it is very powerful, & we all possesses it at times, for we are only human, always growing, evolving.   To be a person of peace in body, mind & thought is our natural state, yet discipline & reverence in many aspects does hold the key. This final letter which is soon to be in print came from a place of peace, love & understanding, once a flower child, always a flower child.  Yet a person is entitled to speak if they have been inaccurately presented, it is that balancing of  the weight of our words that needs to be weighed.  To do unto others no matter the hurt that may have been cast is an attainable goal.  As my dear friend's husband stated many years ago when we were enjoying the beautiful blooms of a late summer's day-- "Life is fragile."  Peace too is fragile for it all begins one person at a time.  We may get stuck in the mud with a flood of thoughts on how to address the hurts of untruths, but what I have found is ultimately we can get through it, & the healthy nutrients from the mud does eventually penetrate, renewing us, giving us strength--  yes the compost of life, refortified & with renewed hope.
                                                                                                                                                                          I am presently preparing myself as I am about to leave one decade & hopefully with God's Grace about to enter another significant decade--  Living on hope, my guide & way since childhood.  Isn't that part of a gardener's creed, remaining hopeful each season in it's turn, "a purpose under heaven", to bring forth a beauty which is springtime, a reminder with it's gentleness of color & form--  for this I will always be thankful.  Always.


Today's post script from my Confucius Quote For Today reads: "To be wronged is nothing unless you continue to remember it." So I will continue practicing this practice.  If it were easy it wouldn't need practice.

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