On Thursday, Sept. 21, the world will celebrate the International Day of Peace.
This is the one day where I have the most hope that humans will choose peace – not arms, not war, not hatred. But instead, they will choose to put down their arms, they will engage in personal and international cease-fires and embrace love.
Because that’s what this world needs the most: healthy doses of sweet love that spreads through a smile, a hug, a handshake, a bow, a helping hand.
And that’s all it takes.
In honor of this day of peace, I have written a poem. Good timing, too, because this month I am trying to write more poems.
Each day I write haikus to share on Twitter (and sometimes my Facebook page), but for the posts in this month, I have wanted to share poems.
I am hosting a peace meditation on Thursday at the school where I work. If you live in or near Asheville, let me know and I’ll tell you where to go!
I will begin at 5:30 pm by sounding a singing bowl and lighting a candle for peace. Then, I’ll welcome everyone, share a little about the International Day of Peace, and read the poem I’ve written below. I may add more to this poem. We’ll see what my heart says.
If you receive I & S newsletters, you should have received the link for a free coloring page with a peace sign. Print it. Indulge. Participate in a moment of peace. If not, sign up below and you’ll get a peace coloring page – just for the occasion.
This might be a “minor” holiday, but we cannot understate the importance of bringing peace and harmony into our lives.
I hope you enjoy this poem.
If you like, print it and include it in your own peace day activities. Or write your own. The sky’s the limit.
“The Peaceful Hawk”
I climbed up a mountain, snow still adrift
Sweeping views: a panoramic gift.
To take it all in, I sat on a rock
My eyes gazed at an elegant hawk.
He flew around and then swooped toward me–
Oh, to be a hawk and to fly free!
His eyes fixated and locked on mine
While he perched on a branch of white pine.
“You must feel such peace flying all around,”
I whispered to him with barely a sound.
In that moment he stood strong and tall
The air got quiet; I heard his call.
He spoke to me and I could understand,
Powerful words he’d carefully planned:
“The flight of a bird soaring so high
represents peace against a blue sky.
It is standing firm on a rocky ledge,
A squirrel eating nuts under a hedge.
Peace is also the chirp of a chick,
The sprint of a cheetah – agile and quick.
But peace exists not only out there.
It’s me, my gaze, so very aware–
It’s the heart, and joy with some perspective,
That what we seek is introspective.
It’s awareness in your soul and spirit–
Thoughts, words, in the mind – we must clear it.
Peace exists in the sacred and mundane–
It is the wind that turns a weather vane.
It is helping elders to survive,
Aiding the least among us to thrive.
It is embracing the excluded
So they feel welcomed and not secluded.
Peace exists from within and without
Starting with a thought from which love will sprout.
Breathing in and breathing out, you shall see
Inside all of us is bliss…harmony.”
With that, this eloquent bird had proclaimed,
With a heart so pacific yet untamed,
That feathers of wisdom already exist:
Thoughts of hope and peace always persist.
I waved good-bye as the hawk took flight.
He glanced back and I knew he was right.
Peace exists anywhere and everywhere
I just need to look to my heart right there.
I climbed down the mountain to return
To my daily life: to live and to learn
The ways of inviting moments of peace,
To live in the present without cease.
In honor of the International Day of Peace, I created a “peace mandala” – it’s a peace sign that you can download and print. Click to start the download.