November the 5th was Guy Fawkes in the UK (and colonies) and Peace Globe day to hundreds of bloggers. Personally... it was also a really horrible day in what has been an extremely difficult year.
I started Nov 5th with a bad news phone call caused by bad news mail. From there I dashed to the doctor (check up) to discover I need MORE medication and then on home to bad news by email! Not surprisingly I still haven't read most of the wonderful Peace Globe posts listed on Mimi's blog. Last year they were such a joy I could hardly wait to read, but this year I was too busy, too angry, then too tired...
...and finally, last night I had my first migraine in over a decade.
Reading through some of the Peace Globe posts this year I couldn't help but compare them to the emails my friends have been sending me this year. This has been a very hard year for so many people. Swine flu, global economy in tatters, ill health, lost jobs, deaths and destruction... all we need is a few plagues and we'd be Biblical. Oh wait... we do - we have Swine flu!
It made me think of a story I read years ago about Peace. In trying to remember it my mangled brain mangled the memory, but I did manage to find a version online. (I love the internet!)
There once was a king who offered a prize to the artist who could paint the best picture of peace.
Many artists tried. The king looked at all the pictures. But there were only two he really liked, and he had to choose between them. One picture was of a calm lake. The lake was a perfect mirror for peaceful towering mountains all around it. Overhead was a blue sky with soft clouds. All who saw this picture thought that it was a perfect picture of peace.
The other picture had mountains, too. But these were rugged and bare. Above was an angry sky, from which rain fell and in which lightning played. Down the side of the mountain tumbled a foaming waterfall. This did not look peaceful at all. But when the king looked closely, he saw beside the waterfall a small tree growing in a crack in the rock. In the tree a mother bird had built her nest. There, in the midst of the rush of angry water, sat the mother bird on her nest – in perfect peace.
The king chose the second picture.
“Because,” explained the king, “peace does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble, or hard work. Peace means to be in the midst of all those things and still be calm in your heart. That is the real meaning of peace.”
It's easy to talk about peace when life is calm and smooth. Creating peace when your life is a mess and the world seems in chaos... that's the real challenge!
I know so many dear friends (and family) who sat their doctorate in "Peace under Pressure" this year. I think I came in as a third year... hopefully with honours.
In honour of us all I have created the new Rain Bird Award - for Peace under Pressure. I dedicate it to every person who has come through their own personal "war" with... if not their dignity and sanity intact then at least with compassion and humour! ;-)
If I had to list them all it literally would take 90% of my email and blog list. Instead I'm only officially handing it on to one today - the Queen of Peace herself... gracious Mimi, who stood by her Peace Globe promises as she stood by the side of her dying father.
I know they're both proud of you Mimi, little girl.
(but Papa picked the flying heart)
If you're one of us, one of those who's been sitting out the storms and rain lately, then please feel free to accept the award below for yourself. We all need to remember to pat ourselves on the back for getting through the tough times. This is for all of you...