A friend of mine once called me a sacred timekeeper. I was a bit surprised by that, but somehow flattered, and when I tried it on I could see it was indeed a comfortable fit.
I’m the kind of person who remembers birthdays and what phase the moon is in; I like rituals and remembrances; I like to take time to honor and celebrate. I just seem to be drawn to organizing my life in observation.
Each year around this time I like to consider what it means to be a peace maker. January 30 through April 4 is the 64-day period designated as the Season of Peace and Nonviolence. Of course in some respects it feels ridiculous to designate a season, or any period, to focus on nonviolence – many of us feel this should be an on-going and life-long effort. But understanding its origin puts the event into context. According to Wikipedia, “Season for Nonviolence was established by Arun Gandhi as a yearly event celebrating the philosophies and lives of Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr.” The ‘season’ begins with the anniversary of Gandhi’s assassination and ends with the anniversary of King’s assassination.
There are a number of organizations and religious groups who have over the years developed curriculum and guided studies of what nonviolence means and what it looks like in daily life, and certainly that can be a helpful thing to work with. But I’ve been practicing this observation for quite a number of years now and I’m at the point where I just let it unfold however it does without specific guidance. I just open to see how peace and nonviolence exists, or doesn’t, and what part I can play.
Years ago I worked in a counseling program that assisted women and children survivors of violence. And I saw first hand the devastation violence has on individual lives. And so I encourage everyone to do whatever they are called to to bring more peace into this world.
As Dennis Kucinich, the U.S. Representative who first proposed in 2001 establishing a United States Department of Peace, said “Peace is not just the absence of war; it is the active presence for a capacity of love, compassion, and reciprocity.”
May we each help anchor those qualities in our day-to-day living and be the change we wish to see. And may we each truly be mindful of the greeting/blessing Namaste – the Sanskrit term used in salutation that can be translated as “The Light in Me recognizes and honors the Light in You and in that recognition is our Oneness.
Namaste to ALL.