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Peace: is it like a river? Ocean? Fountain?

August 17, 2016
by Amy H. Peterson - Staff Writer , Estherville News

A fable I heard as a kid goes something like this:?

There once was a king who offered a prize to the artist who would 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 of a perfect mirror for peaceful towering mountains all around it. Overhead was a blue sky with fluffy white clouds. All who saw this picture remarked that it seemed like the perfect picture of peace.

The other picture had mountains, too, but that's where the similarities to the first ended. The mountains were rugged and bare, and above an angry sky dumped rain and threw lightning across it's width. A foaming waterfall tumbled down the side of the mountain. This did not look peaceful at all. The audience murmured and wondered what this artist could have been thinking.

When the king looked closely, he saw behind the waterfall a tiny bush growing in a crack in the rock. A mother bird had built a nest in it. Amidst the rush of angry water, the mother bird sat in her nest, peaceful and content with what she had, anticipating the hatching of the eggs beneath her.

Which picture won??The second picture. Why??

Because, the king explained, 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 calme in your heart. That is the real meaning of peace.

Why am I recounting this story now??Because Estherville has been in the midst of the raging sky and angry waterfall, somewhat like the mountain, staying constant in the midst, and somewhat like the bird, making its space of contentment in the middle of thundrous grief, anger, uncertainty, and regret.

Beyond Estherville, Iowa, the nation, and the world deal each day with citizens killed by police and some killing officers. With the wars of the world at large. With the question of what makes a family??What must be done to bring peace to the world?

We don't have all the answers, but we do know it starts with inner peace. There's a chance to start to build the nest, to be the bird, this Sunday, August 21, at 1 p.m. in Library Square. A small group of local people who believes we can make a difference has organized music, speakers, meditation, and more for as many people as will fit in the park (which is what the Parks &?Rec board wished us for the day when we went in to ask for permission to hold our event.)

We have needs, still, for publicity, for help on the day, for financial help to put us over the top to meet the expenses of insurance and advertising; any overage will be put to next year. If you're interested in being on the street team, or if you're still interested in speaking or performing music or some other thing, speak to Alan or Sarah Morphew.

A few people had a dream of peace. The more bodies, minds and hearts enjoying the day and creating the space that we can draw, the more peaceful our community and world can be.

Find us on Facebook, share our posts, call your friends, bring your lawn chairs, and get here if you can.



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