When have I known Peace?

     As a child, the first time I sat on a swing and pushed myself off into space.

          Peace came at me as freedom, wind ruffling my skirts, my hair, my cares.

  It mattered not that I was hungry, or lonely, or sad, only that I could feel the rush of nothingness as I swung back and forth. I was four years old and I finally knew what Peace could feel like, and it felt like freedom.


When have I known Peace?

     In a silent house, when anger has done everything it could to tear the walls down, and there is nothing left but tired resignation, I found Peace wandering the halls. It knocked on doors, and they opened with hesitation, letting peace slink in.

Peace is quiet echoes of wars won and lost. It stands at the edge of battle like a medic, always at the ready, but rarely called until it is almost too late.


When have I know peace?

     Sometimes I wonder if I have know it at all.

Strange arms holding me back as my dead lover is wheeled away, where was peace then, as my heart imploded into nothingness? Where wash she when I wanted death more than anything and nothing more than death?

                     I did not call her but still, Peace came after. When I held his glasses in my hand and remembered the man that he was, she stood by and watched me. Peace embraced me as I walked up the stairs to where we had made our lives, and it held me in its embrace as I faltered and fell to my knees. Peace caught me and gave me the only things Peace can give, hope and strength, vision and resolve, and the will to live on.

When have I known Peace?

      In the early morning of a too long night, when my child is finally asleep, I can hear Peace sighing deeply. I can feel it pass right through me as it glides across the room. It spreads out like butterfly wings, slowly twitching open and close, as if testing the air. Then, it is quickly alit, as if it were made of nothing more than fantasy, and it engulfs everything and anything.


When have I known Peace, if not after a summer storm? Or at the sound of children laughing? Or when the church bells ring the joy of yet another birth? Peace in places we will never visit but often read about seems such a rare thing. Peace is there, in the hearts and minds of those who, like me, have met her before and wish to see her again.


Peace in your very heart, lulling you to sleep every night. Peace walking with you as you stroll across a crowded avenue. Peace, under every rock, at the turning of every key, at the falling of ever leaf, it is always there.


When have I known peace?

                    I am not sure, but I think that in the end, when I have said everything that is in me to say, when I put down my last mark on this frightful place, I will know Peace intimately and I will embrace her and take her as my own. I will be no more than fading memories and I will once again be free.


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