Peace for 2016

An Optimistic Iris!

As I'm writing this, about a week before Christmas, I'm looking at a yard full of fairly green grass, bright sunshine (or not) - and what looks like a rather confused iris. (Or maybe it's just very optimistic!)

Maybe we should think like this iris though.

I watch all the same news you all probably do. I see the same bad news over and over (and over and over . . . !) too, until you've got to wonder: is anything good happening? (Why is it bad news seems to "sell" better anyway? And, come to think, who says it does??)

Which is why I'm here, writing to you.

So, where is peace, anyway?

Here it's the holiday season, for all faiths, and the world seems determined to stay in that proverbial hand basket - heading you-know-where. But we don't all have to go on that ride.

Peace, real peace, starts with each of us. It's as small as that. Each one person, doing some (even small) thing. It can just be holding the door for someone, letting someone into your lane on the freeway, or just smiling at that stranger at the store - little things really. Remember that "Random acts of kindness" movement?

And hey, none of us are perfect. We're all human. We're just not going to be cheerful or "in the spirit" 24/7/365 - we're not. But we can try to be more happy than not, kinder than not - and like learning anything new it could become a good habit. Remember that the winter holidays and festivals for our ancestors in the past, always looked to the coming spring - they understood that, without that winter's rest, spring's promise of renewal and new energy could not happen. And we as modern people, need to remember that too - that if we don't slow down now and then, if we don't stop and really "smell the roses" at least once in a while - if we just don't take the time to talk to God - well, is it any wonder we feel tired, overwhelmed and just plain grumpy?

So where do we start? What can we do?

Given all this, maybe we're a bit shy about prayer. After all, especially if we haven't been particularly "prayerful", the idea of "talking to God" which is really what prayer is, whatever form it takes - talking to, and listening for - God can be overwhelming. We've been away, after all, He must be busy . . . why even try? But, maybe it'd help to start by praying with other people - the power of prayer, after all, is multiplied when we join together to pray. Are you willing to at least try?

Let's get started then! Come January 10, (now that all the hustle & bustle of the holidays is past!) our Collinwood neighbors will be coming together, at 2:30 pm to 3:30 pm, at the Collinwood Neighborhood Catholic Ministries House at 15706 St. Clair Ave. - corner of St. Clair and Royal for our second annual Prayer Vigil for Peace.

Won't you join us then, for just an hour of neighbors coming together, whatever their faith is, to help each other, and (hey!) to just say "Hi!" to each other, & begin this New Year together? Everyone is truly welcome!

Back to my iris then. He's not going to bloom now, he knows better than that. But he is looking ahead to spring though - getting a jump on collecting energy from these wonderfully sunny days, so he'll be ahead of things, come spring. Not to mention enjoying these "unseasonable" days of sun.

The snow will come (& by the time you read this, likely will already have come!) And this iris may also muchly regret having put up leaves in mid-December.

But somehow, I don't think so.

Elva Brodnick

Moved to Collinwood in 2012 - and loving it! - but have been active in the neighborhood for many years before that.

Always interested in promoting Collinwood! Euclid Beach Park, history in general. A regular contributor to the Collinwood Observer, as well as very much involved in things in the neighborhood.

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Volume 8, Issue 1, Posted 5:34 PM, 01.05.2016