Sunday, September 20, 2009

May Peace Prevail on Earth!

September 21st is the International Day of Peace. It's also the first day of Autumn and the time of the breaking fast of the fast of Ramadan as well as the Jewish New Year and High Holy Days; Eid Mabrook, and L'shana tova to my friends.

I did a post on the subject of Peace Day at my Hats For Health blog. I suppose it will turn up in my sidebar eventually, but there's the link in case. I really hadn't planned to write a post of the subject here today, but I am a bit anxious to have my last post get buried. Really my naiveté astounds even me sometimes. Generally it's not a good idea to poke hornet's nests, and the subject of Internet scammers is one fine nest.

Today is also the first day of autumn. My dear Aunt Ruth is ailing, and my father calls his sister everyday. She often isn't very responsive, and his response is to ask even more questions. So sometimes he looks for a poem to read to her rather than to bombard her with questions. Tonight he was looking for September and I found it for him online. It fits the season here in the USA very well:

The golden-rod is yellow;
The corn is turning brown;
The trees in apple orchards
With fruit are bending down.

The gentian's bluest fringes
Are curling in the sun;
In dusty pods the milkweed
Its hidden silk has spun.

The sedges flaunt their harvest,
In every meadow nook;
And asters by the brook-side
Make asters in the brook,

From dewy lanes at morning
The grapes' sweet odors rise;
At noon the roads all flutter
With yellow butterflies.

By all these lovely tokens
September days are here,
With summer's best of weather,
And autumn's best of cheer.

But none of all this beauty
Which floods the earth and air
Is unto me the secret
Which makes September fair.

'T is a thing which I remember;
To name it thrills me yet:
One day of one September
I never can forget.
He was uncertain of the author of the poem. We thought perhaps it was Leigh Hunt, but actually the poem was written by Helen Hunt Jackson, and neither of us knew who she was.

The theme of my post over at the Hat blog is something along the lines of "Slacktivist Unite!" Silly, I suppose. What any of us can do seems such a small thing. Learning a bit about the life of Helen Hunt Jackson from the Wikipedia article was inspiring. Well into middle age, after suffering the death of her two sons and first husband she traveled West in search of a cure for TB. There she met and married a wealthy Railroad executive. After hearing a lecture by Chief Standing Bear she dedicated her life to redress of the injustice of the treatment of Native Americans.

I believe each of us makes a difference.

In my house growing up before meals we'd sing a song, a simple grace. The custom came about because my mother was active in Girl Scouts for many years. As a young boy I'd accompany her to a summer camp she led for a week in the summer. I can remember day times with my brother, but not much about the Girl Scouts. We must have been babysat at night somehow. But my sister well remembers singing Let There Be Peace on Earth, and Let It Begin with Me. I must have sung it too,but don't have clear memories of it, just remember the song. Searching the videos at YouTube ought to have a dire cute attack warning label. There are very many beautiful children's groups singing it. This version done by PS22 Chorus is so lovely.

Children indeed show us a wisdom beyond their years, but they're just kids. And if kids can get that peace begins in everyone of us, we can grok that as adults too.

Autumn is a beautiful time of year and a good time for taking stock, a time when all over the world people contemplate how they can make peace. Somewhere in all our hearts we know that's what we ought to do. Oh, but it's hard and it's complicated, I know. Still on this day and everyday, I bid you peace. Especially on this day, an International Day of Peace, may peace be with you.


Anonymous said...

John I can hear Grandad reading the poem :)

Happy Autumn

DaisyDeadhead said...

Happy Equinox! (5:18am EDT)