Friday, December 16, 2011

Let There Be Peace

 I woke much too early this morning, startled awake by a terrifying roar overhead, the windows rattling in their sashes, the sound of somebody crying somewhere in the darkness.  Well, lucky for me, it was only a raging wind slamming into my house and not bombs raining death all around me; only the cry of a frightened cat, not that of a child ripped open by errant shrapnel.  I was safe and warm in my bed, and so, no doubt, were all those I loved.  Dear God, may that be so now for all who have suffered through this Iraq War, soldiers and civilians alike.  "Let woe and waste of warfare cease, . . .  Lord, grant thy wayward people peace."  Those are words from a hymn we sing in church, and they ran through my mind all day.

That raging wind dragged a new weather system upon us, with a warm blustery morning merging into a quiet cold afternoon.  By the time I walked in Woods Hollow Nature Preserve in Ballston Spa this afternoon, the pond lay as still as glass, and I was grateful for the sense of peace this landscape evoked in me.

 Soaring pines towered over my head, lifting my spirits along with my gaze.  Although there were many clouds, bright spots of blue showed through.

 Eons of pine needles cushioned the path, so I walked along without making a sound, embraced by silence.  Perhaps we will soon have snow, with colder weather moving in, and these pretty Wintergreen plants will endure the winter under the snow, emerging in spring as fresh and green as they look today, their berries still plump and bright.  I find their resilience reassuring, when I think of all those who have been wounded by war.

I know there's a large school of goldfish living in Woods Hollow Pond, but I'm always startled to see them, bright orange flashes among the green of reflected pines.  They probably got here by somebody dumping an unwanted few from a fishbowl, and over the years their population has soared.

I wonder what kind of havoc they are wreaking upon the pond's ecosystem, since this is not a native species.  Dumping them in here probably seemed like a good idea at the time, to the ill-informed person who introduced them.  Just like invading Iraq was some ill-informed people's idea of a good decision, nine years and hundreds of thousands of deaths ago.  Ah well, at least these goldfish are beautiful, and they haven't drained our nation's treasury nor poured our nation's children down the terrible black hole of war.


The Cranky Crone, she lives alone! said...

Evocative and pictorially beautiful post!
Made my heart thump a bit harder when I first started to read.... We should be grateful that our loved ones are many miles from starvation and bombs, I thought that myself the other day walking in the woods which are part Ministry of Defence, I heard shouting, if a man could bark thats what it sounded like, when I turned the corner I saw soldiers laying in the mud and wet being barked/shouted, I turned quickly and made my way back the other way, they were pointing guns, just laying there, it made me feel sick and upset, I wanted to go and tell them to get up out of the mud and be cross with the guy standing over them, I carried on over a field thinking how frighteneing it must be to be in close contact with soldiers from any side? I looked up and thought if I were in another place another time I could be being shot down by a plane as I walked how would I defend myself, or my family if they were with me, trying to get some where safe, finding food and shelter..........I arrived humbled.

Jane B said...


catharus said...

Yes, I think that's one of the better hymns we sing as well! Very powerful vision laid out in the lyrics, but one that I believe, is at God's heart.