Peaceful place

Inspired by Frank at Dutch goes the Photo: Peace

…share posts that evoke the sense of peace for you, in whatever form that might take.

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Several months ago, I discovered a small clearing in the woods in back of my condo building…which I often gravitate to when I am out for a walk.

Even though I can still hear the roar of the traffic from the nearby highway, it is my peaceful place. I often wish there was a place to sit.

Perhaps the coincidence traces back decades to when I used to spend afternoons out exploring the wooded area down the street with my friend Kathleen. Gathering rocks and leaves and the odd rusty nail in an old bucket. Or – alone – perched in a tree in my front yard, hidden from the world…as deep in thought as a 9 year old can be. I always felt a sense of belonging…and a sense of lightness being in the out-of-doors.

Although now there is no tree climbing…

…that sense of belonging continues.

 

Peace Blues

This post inspired by Becky’s Blue July Squares

 

Back in “The Day” – my teenage years – I covered my bedroom wall with posters. Of all shapes and sizes. Random subject matter. Raggedy Ann & Andy. Laurel & Hardy. Don Quixote plodding along under an orange moon. Psychedelic quotes. “LifeIsAGas” swirled in green and pink was one. “WarIsNotHealthyForChildren…” was another.

However, one poster was just a simple black square…with a green peace sign filling the space. No text.

A small symbol of protest.

Along with peace necklaces. Buttons. Pins. Rings. Denim patches. To end the war we saw raging on the evening news. A war which continued until I was in college…and heard shouts down the hall of my dormitory one night…The War Is Over!! The War Is Over!!

In our youth and naïveté, perhaps my friends and I somehow believed these small symbols made a difference.

Several years ago, I noticed this pin for sale at a local novelty store. The kind of place that sells off color bumper stickers, fart joke books and notepads with the F word in their titles.

It gave me pause.

Way past time to start my collection again.

peace button
Button For Sale
2017

 

Serenity

Inspired by Lens-Artist Challenge #52: Serenity

 

sky kites
Kites in Flight
Hampton Beach, NH

When I was a young girl – a very young girl – I dreamed I could fly.

All by myself.

It was glorious while it lasted.

This photograph reminds me of that dream.

Lying in bed trying to fall asleep was not always easy when I was a child. Feelings are hard to sort out, identify and soothe when you’ve barely learned to read and write. I was also expected to solve my own problems.

Maybe it was watching the Mighty Mouse cartoons. I couldn’t take my eyes off his soaring figure and trademark cape…flying high to Save The Day. Or maybe, later, it was the view from the branches of the tree I loved to climb. Peeking out from behind the leaves.

For whatever reason, I transformed to a girl in flight during nighttime dreams. The dream began as I started running…

…running across my backyard. Faster and faster. Through the neighbor’s lawn. Until the grass was a blur. The trees were a blur. Only the sky still in focus. Always a blue sky. When my legs could run no faster, I’d jump. Without fail, Up I Went. My arms straight out to my sides, waving up and down birdlike. Flying away. Just like that…

Directly into a calm place of peace. And sleep.

I learned to start this dream at will.

I wish I still could!

 

Give Peace (and Education) a chance

Establishing lasting peace is the work of education; all politics can do is keep us out of war.

Maria Montessori

 

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Vote YES for the middle school expansion!

Today is voting day in my small town. Or…as it was formerly known…Town Meeting Day. Or, more specifically, Town Meetin’ Day.

Many years ago, it was actually an open meeting for all town residents. Who assembled on folding chairs set up in the town hall. Votes were cast on various budget items and for the election of town officials. Attendees were given an opportunity to stand and voice support or opposition to the matters at hand. Sometimes a paper ballot. Sometimes just a voice vote.

Now, as the town has changed – and the population has increased – we vote in voting booths. In the former high school’s gymnasium. Exactly the same way we vote in the general elections.

Some may say these local elections are not all that important.
I disagree.
We are choosing the individuals who will sit on the School Board. We are voting for the members of the Board of Selectman, which governs our town. Making crucial decisions. Rules affecting how we live, where we live, where we park. Public safety. Fire trucks. Street signs. Police activity.  Water quality. Local businesses also absorbing the direct and indirect ramifications.

Today there are over 20 individual budget items to consider, including the annual operating budget. One item on the ballot – for the 3rd year in a row – is all about education.

The middle school desperately needs to be expanded and renovated. Each yearly proposal has slashed more of its requests to reduce the cost. Letters to the Editor in the local paper shout out We Need This! or A Waste of Money! Often implying that the senior citizens…or those without school age children…are the reason this hasn’t been approved.

The financial burden of property taxes (which is how our schools are financed) is real. I get that. But I also know that the dollar increase due to this ballot item is not extraordinary. It averages out to a few monthly meals at the local bar and grill over the course of a year. Maybe. Or a weekly latte at the coffee shop.

So I ask myself…why don’t people understand the significance of educating our children to the best of our ability? Why do they want to keep class sizes large and cram kids into a too-small cafeteria? No music room? Art on a cart? Educating the whole child…what happened to that, I wonder….and its ramifications if not done with care. And, yes, with some sacrifice.

As cliché as it sounds, it remains a fact: (Everyone’s) Children are the Future.

My children were raised in a different town than where I currently live. I will always be grateful to the citizens who voted in favor of school improvements and supported the teachers with the salaries they needed and deserved. Despite the sacrifice. I know many of those voters were senior citizens. Who had the foresight – and wisdom – to understand the need. And the significance.

Our children and their education is important.
Voting is crucial.
Let’s not take either for granted.

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