© by Christine O’Brien
Allow the earth to drown you in her beauty.
Then there’ll be less desire for wasteful war.
Without restraint, succumb to her bounty
Such a complete surrender, do not abhor.
Why do we march to the battlefield still
Inventing disagreements to stoke the fire
What inside of us do we try to quell
If we win, are we right and they the liar?
What, pray tell, is the point of any war?
What victory so sweet that sheds blood?
Are we being true to some ancient lore?
Can we decide midstream to change this plot?
Please drown me earth in your beautiful flood
This cause of death I’d deem worthy, I would.
Yesterday, I took a walk in nature. I walk daily, weather permitting. I walked beside a lake, Lake Siskiyou in Mount Shasta, CA. Along this trail, they have placed one picnic table with benches. I stopped to sit and gaze at the sparkling water, a few ducks, the trees. I had a little book with me, Sanditon by Jane Austen. Apparently, this is her last work and incomplete. I’d been watching the series on PBS and wanted to see how close they stayed to her book, at least the beginning of it.
Sitting there, having this momentary leisure of time and the beauty of place, I felt fortunate. I could feel what it is to have an experience of peace in beauty. I desired this, something like this, for everyone. I guess I was imagining then a world without war. A world where we are satisfied with caring for what we have and we don’t have the need for conquest and acquiring more.
Today, I walked by the lake again, a different trail. I met a man walking his dog…a stranger. We had a casual conversation and before long, I could see he appreciated nature and longed for peace. I said something to him like “We need leaders who love the earth and value all of life,” and I added, “like you.” He laughed and said that could be his campaign slogan. And then he said that someone who favored burning coal would say “We’re not voting for you because you’re going to undermine our industry.” And I said that his response could be “Let me offer you an alternative.” Isn’t life strange?
My brother, Bob, is a musician and poet and has worked for the Oceanographic Society. For most of his adult life, Bob has protested against war, fought for nuclear disarmament and has been an animal rights advocate. All of these combine to show a man who lives his values. He was out there this past weekend joining with others to protest war.
It’s sad to witness how there are a few men at the top who hold the world hostage.