Invading Peace and Beauty

Hmmm. I realized only as I was sending out my enraptured piece about the tiny, beautiful, blue grape hyacinth this year, and its stealthy overtaking of a local field, that I was waxing poetically about one more invasive species. I feel fairly strongly about invasive species and how thoughtless and harmful we are to introduce them.

Now, we can certainly excuse a farm wife from 200 years ago, because people didn’t know then what we know now. And I don’t know that this little blue creeper has done any harm. But many beautiful transplants have taken over whole continents and crowded out the local plants. And let’s not even talk about rabbits. (I never realized quite how furious this invasive species thing made me until I found myself in a rather heated conversation with a vegan who was sad about a rabbit slaughter in New Zealand. In all the years that rabbits have been NZ and Australia, nothing has evolved as a predator. So they go on doing what bunnies love to do — eating and reproducing — and devastating the countryside.)

So here I was writing a paean to another. sigh. It’s so hard to put all the pieces together. And a field of blue is hard not to admire, even to gasp in awe at. On the West Coast, blue and purple are frequent wildflower colors… here they are rare. hmmm. That might have been a tip off… But still, here is this field that looks like an impressionistic painting. This is a field my parents drove up on River Hill to look at every year. They took their parents. Dad took his sister. Deb and I do the same and drag along those we love, spreading the tradition. I have taken Steve when the hyacinths are in bloom. The hyacinths constitute an Evans Hajj, a family rite of holy obligation and joy. Admire. Wonder. Give thanks. Remember the Farm Wife.

And I wondered… could we make this work for us in some way. Is it possible that Peace is an invasive species? No one really expects Peace to break out. Can we be subversive and teach children to love? Can we plant Peace in out of the way nooks and corners and watch it slowly take over? The people who say it isn’t possible are far more numerous than those who work actively against Peace. So what if we were to convince them, bit by bit, Peace by Peace.

And then we could begin to make a quiet pilgrimage, year after year, to encourage its spread and to laud its growth. We could take more Peace with us. We could take our Peaceful friends. Eventually we could take our friends who have not been believers and let the gasp in admiration and conviction. Soon they would bring their friends. And then we who believe in Peace would so many more than those who work for their own gains… and we could quietly, stubbornly invade even their hardened hearts. Just a dream you say? Well, Disney told us: A dream is a wish your heart makes… This is a wide-awake dream, not a fast asleep one, but a wish of my heart nonetheless…


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