Saturday, December 18, 2010

Peace alights

In 1862, Charles Appleton Longfellow joined the Union ranks in America’s Civil War. Later that same year, on Christmas day, Charles’ father, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, sat down and penned “Christmas Bells.”

I heard the bells on Christmas Day

Their old familiar carols play,

And wild and sweet

The words repeat

Of peace on Earth, good-will to men!

Longfellow goes on to describe how the canon fire thundered and drown the church bells’ declarations of peace…

And in despair, I bowed my head

“There is no peace on earth,” I said;

“For hate is strong

And mocks the song

Of peace on Earth, good-will to men!”

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep

God is not dead, nor does He sleep;

The Wrong shall fail,

The Right prevail

With peace on Earth, good-will to men!

These verses ran through my head tonight as I hoisted my 34-weeks-pregnant frame into the bath.

Peace on Earth. Peace on Earth, good will to men, I sang and ran my fingertips over my globular belly.

In looking over this last year, I see now that I have been in pursuit of peace, which is foolish. Peace is just the sort of thing that settles on you once you have finally had the good sense to sit still for a minute—or have collapsed from sheer exhaustion. Peace alights. It doesn’t give chase or even own a pair of running shoes.

Peace on earth. Peace on earth, good will to men, I sing to my unborn son…A prayer and a declaration, if only for a moment.


painted maypole said...

I am finding peace so elusive these days. I don't know that I'm running so much literally, but inside... there's running. And perhaps hiding. Sitting out in the open, with no distraction, and letting peace - or whatever needs to come first - to arrive is probably in order.

Lovely to see you.

Anonymous said...

A Holiday Thought...

Aren't humans amazing? They kill wildlife - birds, deer, all kinds of cats, coyotes, beavers, groundhogs, mice and foxes by the million in order to protect their domestic animals and their feed.

Then they kill domestic animals by the billion and eat them. This in turn kills people by the million, because eating all those animals leads to degenerative - and fatal - health conditions like heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, and cancer.

So then humans spend billions of dollars torturing and killing millions more animals to look for cures for these diseases.

Elsewhere, millions of other human beings are being killed by hunger and malnutrition because food they could eat is being used to fatten domestic animals.

Meanwhile, few people recognize the absurdity of humans, who kill so easily and violently, and once a year send out cards praying for "Peace on Earth."

~Revised Preface to Old MacDonald's Factory Farm by C. David Coates~


Anyone can break this cycle of violence! Everyone has the power to choose compassion! Please visit these websites to align your core values with life affirming choices: &

"And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is on the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat." ~ Genesis 1:29

cactus petunia said...

What a beautiful post, and so true.
Wishing you a peaceful and healthy and happy New Year!

Mrs. G. said...

I hope you are feeling wonderful! I've thought about you may times the past couple of months. I would love to see a photo of you!