Stepping Out into Peace

Annestown Beach, Co. Waterford
Annestown Beach, Co. Waterford

Peace is something that I never, ever take for granted ~ either personal peace or public peace.

I was reared by my mother  on the saying, passed to her by her father:

Better a dinner of herbs and peace therewith than roast ox and contention.

and I don’t think I ever prepare a meal of any significance without thinking of this.

At a broader level, I give thanks every single day for the fact that the horrific Troubles in Northern Ireland were brought to an end after endless negotiation. As a child and young teenager, I was absolutely terrified that they would spill drastically into the Republic of Ireland and had all sorts of Plans A, B …Z to try and escape the turmoil.

Talking not fighting is the key!

What sparked these thoughts was stumbling on this poem earlier today:

Peace

At the ship’s bow. It was my eye that drew

the perfect circle of blue meeting blue.

No land was visible. There was no sail,

not cloud to show the mighty world in scale,

so sky and ocean, by my gaze defined,

were drawn within the compass of my mind

under a temperate sun. The engine’s sound

sank to a heartbeat. Stillness all around.

Only the perfect circle and the mast,

The moment that knew no future and no past.

(Amy Whiting 1919-2001)

 

Author: socialbridge

I am a sociologist and writer from Ireland. I have worked as a social researcher for 30 years and have had a lifelong passion for writing. My main research interests relate to health care and I love to write both non-fiction and poetry.

16 thoughts on “Stepping Out into Peace”

  1. Reminds me of the lines from a song…”Let There Be Peace On Earth, and Let It Begin With Me”.., I can picture in my mind the blue of the sky and the ocean and the stillness except for the water that might make a sound lapping the boat …No one can imagine the turmoil of growing up in Ireland when peace was at a premium, except those who lived through it. Today it’s the middle east and all over as our peace is threatened..

    1. Hi Joni, I think it is all too easy to take peace for granted when the battlefields are ‘somewhere’ else. But, the ‘somewhere else’ is really everyone’s business as the world is so small and people are people no matter where they live.

  2. I appreciate this, and the recognition of its importance. Too often, we don’t think about things that are not directly in our own yard. One of my favorite sayings is “At the table of Peace, there will be Bread and Justice.”

  3. What a beautiful reminder for us to not take peace for granted, Jean..I often think of living in our own little world here where life is pretty peaceful. Then my mind ventures into the middle east and other parts of our country, not only our vast world, and my heart grows heavy from all the unrest and horrific violence. I think for the last few years at Christmas time when I’m trying to be jolly, etc, it’s been difficult to completely let myself go into that mode with so many other innocent people suffering in unfathomable ways…♥

  4. Nice poem. Of course we all welcomed the Good Friday agreement and the (comparative) peace which has followed. There were however clearly some under-the-counter concessions to the terrorists that are hard to stomach, but they’re perhaps for another time and place. Generally we have been incredibly lucky here in western Europe these last 70 years to have lived in relative peace.

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