Planting Peace

For days, I’ve been hearing people express fears about the Inauguration. We no longer take the peaceful transfer of power for granted. On January 6th we discovered, not only how divided we are, but how a lie told often enough can be fomented into violence.

Federico Mayor’s poem “We Will Plant Olive Trees,”* has been  running through my mind since then.  Its images of planting and of working together for peace, speaks to my heart.

“We will plant olive trees
where before
there were thorns.

All of us the same,
each one of us different,
we will walk hand in hand
with a new song on our lips.

We will plant olive trees
where before there
were thorns.

Sharing
in the one urgent need
in this dawning
of a new century

Pax, peace, paix.
mir, shalom, salaam
we will plant olive trees
where before there
were thorns.”

Planting together, working together for understanding and peace, is the work of God.

“Finally, all of you, have unity of spirit, sympathy, love for one another, a tender heart, and a humble mind. Do not repay evil for evil or abuse for abuse; but, on the contrary, repay with a blessing. It is for this that you were called—that you might inherit a blessing.

For Those who desire life  and desire to see good days,
let them keep their tongues from evil
and their lips from speaking deceit; 
let them turn away from evil and do good;
   let them seek peace and pursue it.”   I Peter 3:8-11

**Federico Mayor, Spanish Director General, UNESCO, France 1987-1999 – from the book From the book, “Prayers for a Thousand Years”  Edited by Elizabeth Roberts & Elias Amidon 1999