We look forward to the time when the Power of Love will replace the Love of Power. Then will our world know the blessings of peace.
William Ewart Gladstone

(A beautiful swan in the pond of the Boston Common’s garden / Boston, Massachusetts / Julie Cook / 2014)

I feel as if I want to yell at the top of my lungs “HOW DID I MISS THIS?!”
Last evening, after watching the umpteenth report regarding the Malaysian Airliner 17 which was shot down over the Ukraine, it suddenly felt as if I’d been hit in the face with a brick.. . .a “helloooo” moment.
I felt as if I was hit in the face with a stalk realization I’d been missing, or it had been so clouded and colluded. Something that has been there all along but finally revealed as tangibly real, as if a curtain has been finally lifted.

I am almost 55 years old.
Do you know, realize and comprehend that for my entire life, my entire 55 years, I, you, we have lived with a suffocating cloud of angst and agitation from and by the USSR, now Russia?

Ever since WWII it seems as if the Government of the former Soviet Union, now Russia, has relished in being a thorn in the side of the United States. And perhaps they, the Russians feel the same about the US.
I don’t know.
Be it a Cold War with the constant threat of annihilation under the threat of Nuclear attack or today’s posturing and jockeying of which is eerily pulling us all backwards rather than forward. . .
Our relationship with Russia is once again sliding backwards.

My earliest remembrance from grade school was the worrisome drills we would practice as the constant threat of a Nuclear War seemed tenuously imminent. It was a worrisome burden for grade school kids who wondered where we would hide when the Soviets shot the missile at us, fretting what would happen to our parents if such should happen while we were at school and our parents were at work and home. Obviously this is certainly no way for children to grow and thrive—not living in a state of constant worry and fear. But could we not say this same sense of insecurity is true today for so many other children around this fragile globe of ours?

An entire generation of us grew up with that very real threat and worry–and yet we’ve marched forward ebbing slowly away from a constant threat into a state of cautious forward progress. We marveled watching a Polish Pope work steadily and steely toward forcing the hand of an entrenched Communist Regime as President Reagan implored President Gorbachev to “tear down this wall”

And now, it is as if we have stepped back to a time that remains dangerous and perilous.
Shadows and question outnumber clarity and openness.
Trust has vanished.
Rhetoric is now the name of the game.
Sanctions, false truths, mysteries, rebels, lies, no ownership, battles, missiles, encroachment. . .all shades of a dark time that was— which oddly, is again, now.

Add to this the ongoing battles in Israel and I feel as if I’m in a time warp.
As far as we’ve moved forward, we have moved equally that much farther—backwards.


May we accept nothing less.

5 comments on “Peace

  1. David says:

    I visited Russia, Poland and East Germany in the 70s and 80s while serving in the Merchant Navy. It was an eye opener to see life behind the Iron Curtain as it was.

    Then last year I visited Kiev and then Moscow on business. It was strange but Ukraine seemed to be stuck in a Soviet time warp, while Moscow was refreshingly different. The even stranger thing was that I did not need a visa to visit Ukraine, while the visa process for Russia was complicated and involved a trip down to London with my passport. Now I look at the news and I cannot believe what is happening. Like you I thought that we had begun to leave all this behind.

  2. Lovely photo of the peaceful swan!
    I am with you Julie, I can also remember the drills in school preparing for a potential nuclear attack. All of the turmoil, war in the Ukraine, Russia and Israel should have all of us concerned and we need to be as prepared as we can here at home too. It is very all very sad. Since 911 we should be looking at this with wide open eyes, terrorist could attack us anytime, anywhere, let alone a nuclear attack. This makes it really scary if you start thinking about all the things that could happen.

    My wife and I have been preparing since 911 for terrorist attack or anything, even weather related event that causes us to loose power, food, water, fuel, etc. for weeks or months. Most people are not really ready if we all have the power grid down for weeks or months, or if truck transportation is down and food can not get delivered to the stores, no water, no fuel, etc. I am 57, so I can remember my family preparing back when they did drills in the schools. It’s not good to think about it but we all need to be more prepared to take care of ourselves in the event of an emergency or disaster of any kind. Some will say that will never happen. Sorry to write so much!

    • don’t ever feel you must apologize for sharing your thoughts Michael—I think you are so correct in your observation that we Americans tend to lull ourselves back to complacency very quickly—for lots of reasons—we want life to just be normal again–whatever normal is–our current generations have no idea of real sacrifice as our times of war have not been what the Nation endured during WWII– there is not the same National sense of”coming together”, being unified as one, working toward one goal. Today’s wars are fought with little to no impact on the average citizen’s life, not unless one is directly impacted by having a loved one who serves—gone is the need for ration books, victory gardens, sacrifices and the working toward a single goal—- Our Nation seems so divided on so many different levels and areas that we can’t come together as one—it is indeed worrisome.
      Thank you Michael for your wise words–

  3. History just keeps repeating itself over and over and over again. Mankind just doesn’t get it! Hatred that has become so ingrained continues to move along without any changes for the better. But then, we shouldn’t be too surprised because it started from the beginning when Cain killed his brother Abel. With the fall of man, evil came into the “garden” and sadly its ugly head continues rule over reason and compassion and brotherly love. It is all very frightening indeed. Hugs, Natalie đŸ™‚

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