I stepped from Plank to Plank
A slow and cautious way
The Stars about my Head I felt
About my feet the Sea.

I knew not but the next
Would be my final inch -
This gave me that precarious Gait
Some call Experience.

Emily Dickinson, c. 1864

Sunday, April 14, 2024

Tulips 2024, not war

River of blue

Another April is here, and yesterday I made another trip to the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival. I've been doing this every year for more than a decade. I only missed one, when they didn't plant any tulips because of the pandemic. I just went back and looked at posts from previous years and realized that 2011 was my first tulip visit, and I've come out to see them with many different friends over the years, but lately it's been my friend Lily and me spending time tiptoeing through the tulips (no, not really; they frown on it). I will do a post with lots of pictures, maybe on Monday, but for now it's time to consider what else is on my mind.
I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones. —Albert Einstein
I am truly concerned with the direction of world events, which seems to be moving us closer and closer to World War III. Everywhere I look, there is another indication that things are not getting any better, and just because we can watch missiles being blown up on my TV screen as one hostile nation pummels another nation and innocent people continue to suffer, it does not make me feel safer. I offer a prayer every morning after my meditation, part of which asks that all sentient beings may be free from pain and suffering and enjoy robust good health. Wishing for peace on earth has been a constant hope for as long as I can remember, but the entire world seems to be getting closer to outright war with every day that passes.

I was born in 1942 and have known relative peace here in the US during my entire lifetime. Even though my father was in World War II, and we had all those other wars afterward, Vietnam and Korea, Iraq and Afghanistan, just to name a few, I always felt they were outliers and that we were moving into the possibility of peace becoming a worldwide phenomenon. I guess I was just kidding myself, or at least not being honest with the facts as I consider them. I don't know what will happen in the near future, but I do know that the illusion of worldwide peace and prosperity grows ever more distant.

I am afraid that this last barrage of drones and missiles from Iran to Israel will not be the last of it during this latest war. I have been more than a little distressed at what Israel is doing in Gaza, but the only thing I know to do, other than to pray for peace, is to give money to Doctors Without Borders and hope that some of the much-needed food and supplies will make it to those starving and displaced people. I know I am not alone in my wishes for some kind of meaningful resolution to all of this horror. It is hard to sit down to eat a wonderful meal when I know that so many people in Gaza, innocent people, are dying of starvation and deprivation. One politician who has gained my appreciation is Bernie Sanders, who continues to demand, over and over, that it is wrong for Israel to do what it is doing and suggests that the US do whatever it can to get humanitarian aid to Gaza. I wonder what the escalation of the war with Iran will do to Israel now. But I cannot sit around and wail over it; I must petition my lawmakers to do the right thing. But what is that? I just don't know.

So I am determined to find something positive to consider instead. It does absolutely no good to allow my distress over the world situation to engulf my spirit and take me away from the wonders all around me. Just yesterday when I was taking in all those beautiful flowers, my eyes were surrounded by nothing but loveliness. I could instead concentrate on that, look at my pictures once again, and let the ugliness of war and strife slip away. Another way of being in the world is to concentrate on the grace and elegance of the Pacific Northwest in springtime. Why not do that instead? I can choose, and that is also one of the wonderful benefits of becoming an octogenarian: that much of the world's pain is put into a wider perspective as part of being human, but it is only part of the journey. I also have so much to be thankful for, and I am not alone as I put one foot in front of the other, as I walk to the top of mountains, as I allow love to prevail in my heart.

Tulips smiling back at the sunshine

I do hope you, my dear friends, will find some way to let love win, and let the beauty of being alive overtake your troubles. I am now finishing up this morning's post, and I have to say I do feel better than I did when I began, and I sincerely hope some of the positivity is finding its way into your life. My tea is gone, my dear partner is snuggling back under the covers, and I am ready to continue my day. Until we meet again next week, I wish you all good things. Be well.


Rian said...

Good Morning DJan. Love the tulips. Pale pink tulips (and roses) are my favorites (although sunflowers and daisies are favs too). Yes, the world seems to be taking a dark turn, and perhaps the frustration of knowing there is little we can do on a personal level that gets to us (praying and money aside). But I believe (have to believe) that good will win out in the end... although we may have to go through some difficult times to get there. My dad was a kid in England during WW1 (born in 1907). He remembered. His family came to the US in 1918 after the war. I was born in 1945 after WW2. Will there be a WW3? Probably... you'd think we'd learn.
All we can do is try to spread love and kindness to all people, all races, all nations, all sentient creatures. Will it be enough? Will love win?

gigi-hawaii said...

Bah, war is constant no matter which century you lived. Always caused by men. Women don't start them.

Anvilcloud said...

The latest salvo from Iran really grinds my gears.

Linda Reeder said...

While your intensity of feeling is greater than I will allow myself, your thinking pretty well matches my own. I can only wonder what the outcome of the round after round of world hostilities will bring, while I cleanse my brain with the beauties of spring in the PNW all around me.
Peace be with you.

Elephant's Child said...

Thank you for showering us with beauty this morning. It does help. A lot. And yes, I also contribute to Doctors without Borders. And hope.

Far Side of Fifty said...

I am so glad you got to go see the tulips! What a wonderful day for you and Lily. I am not sure what will happen in Israel...I suppose it depends on who is elected President. God is in charge ultimately.

John's Island said...


As you navigate through these challenging times, know that your voice and actions, no matter how small they may seem, have the power to make a difference. By advocating for peace, supporting those in need, and nurturing a spirit of gratitude and compassion, you contribute to building a brighter and more hopeful future for generations to come.

One thing that is missing on Eye, which you do have on DJan-ity, is the ability to REPLY to comments. gigi-hawaii needs to do a little historical research. While most wars have been started by men, make no mistake ... several women have started wars.

Happy week ahead to you and SG.


Gigi said...

I love the tulips...they are one of my favorites.

There is much in the world to worry over and so little we can do - other than hope, pray and encourage love and compassion in our own little spaces.

Marie Smith said...

The news has been dire. So much to consider and fear. Meanwhile we dress for the weather and keep going…

Red said...

We are certainly torn by many actions around the world. Some groups or nations can take some very aggressive positions. Some people have lost all tolerance and respect for others. I don't know how we'll get things back.

Rita said...

Humanity seems to endlessly cycle through peace and war. It is such a core-level shame that we don't seem to be able to alter that pattern. Focusing on love and gratitude...appreciating the beauty of this earth and humans at their best...believing that we will survive it all in the end...spreading positives, calm, and kindness...what else can one do? I shall giggle at Allie's antics, hug my grandsons, and have faith in love being stronger than hate. I do believe that. :)

Penny said...

It is the following words of Thich Nhat Hahn that have helped me cope with the world as it is.

Breathing in I smile, nothing is as important as my peace, my joy.
I smile to everything. Even to my suffering, to my difficulties.
Breathing out I release and let go.
This is a practice of freedom. Smile, release.

As well, I remind myself that when I am living "in love" (as one is falling in love) nothing can upset me.
Since I'm not living "in love" all the time, I do allow myself to experience grief, sadness long enough for there to be more space in me to experience joy once again.

Salty Pumpkin Studio said...

Prayers for peace

Lovely tulips photos. I hope your spring is happier.

Tabor said...

Yes, our parents suffered war...without the Internet...which I think was a bit of blessing. Our country voted today to send money to Ukraine...let us hope this is the last money we will need for war.