When will you ever, Peace, wild wooddove, shy wings shut,
Your round me roaming end, and under be my boughs?
When, when, Peace, will you, Peace? I’ll not play hypocrite
To own my heart: I yield you do come sometimes; but
That piecemeal peace is poor peace. What pure peace allows
Alarms of wars, the daunting wars, the death of it?O surely, reaving Peace, my Lord should leave in lieu
Some good! And so he does leave Patience exquisite,
That plumes to Peace thereafter. And when Peace here does house
He comes with work to do, he does not come to coo,
He comes to brood and sit.

Gerard Manley Hopkins

I can look back at my life and see moments of peace, set among the strife and sparkling like fragments of mica in the sand of a vast desert.

I hunger for peace, both innner and outer peace in the wider world much as a junkie hungers for a fix. The piecemeal peace Hopkins speaks of is never enough, and yet it teaches me the fact of its existence.

I recall those precious moments of inexplicable peace, standing out like sentinels in my life, often seeming to be without reason, or good reason anyway. They descend undeserved, and often unasked, and feel like a balm on sore sunburnt skin.

If it feels like that for the one individual, then what bliss might follow should the world find a true path of peace, that state of being that is more than the mere cessation of war?

I am studying my memory so I can memorise the sensations remembered of peace, so that I might stalk it by seeing what actions and inactions tickle that memory bell, like finding the right key for a lock when fumbling in the dark.

I’m in sore need of peace right now. The image of the dove of peace actively brooding her eggs is etched on my inner eye right now; peace is a process of bringing forth, of nurturing and encouraging the emergence of something tender and new.

In my turmoil I am aware of things unborn waiting to be born; I have no means to bring them into the light except by calling on peace.

And yet, like a timid bird, peace disappears at the slightest disturbance, leaving me bereft. 


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