Finding Peace When Winter Threatens

I like Winter. Don’t get me wrong. I like starry nights and snowy days. I like cozy candle-lit rooms and reading and writing and eating clementines.

But not unlike Summer, Winter must be respected. All these Summer fans forget that people who lived without air-conditioning in their houses and cars were not always so sorry to see summer end. Winter offered respite from working in the fields and gardens as well. It wasn’t that there wasn’t hard work, but there was time in the dark for stories and mending of lives and the tools of our livelihoods.

But in this picture, snow threatens. I actually like snow… but the picture captures ominous. And threatening is the way I’m feeling about my world right now.

We can wring our hands, or we can prepare. We can ask ourselves how we will work for peace. I’m not great at countering what’s going on… and besides, we don’t know what’s going to happen. But we can build relationships and connections. We can practice radical hospitality. We can prepare to wage Peace. We can practice. We can Love.



Spice Up That Peace!

I find it interesting that Peace is often categorized as bland and calm. Where is it written that Peace can’t be interesting, multi-leveled and, well, spicy? In fact, how could it be anything else. For Peace to be Peace, everyone has to be involved. That’s going to make it confusing, fragile, and fabulous.

We often talk about it as a blanket of Peace. But I suspect that blanket is more like a wild and wonderful art quilt, full of fabulous colors and movement. Perhaps there are places in the quilt not quite resolved but working toward discordant beauty.

When I think about it, nice gets the same bad rap. I’ll admit, I always thought nice was sort of namby-pamby. Now it’s a thing I most aspire to. Being nice, which doesn’t preclude having opinions or doing justice, makes space for people and allows them to be that which all of us want… to be seen. So now I no longer think of niceness as “nice,” said in that cooing voice.

Niceness is radical kindness and hospitality — or it should be. It sees what is and offers balm and works for solutions.

Peace is wild and challenging as well.

Maybe it’s even spicy. Maybe they both need some onion and garlic started in the pan… Come, sit with me, and enjoy the bounty spiced up with laughter. Peace and Niceness are not bland they include the world and let cultures and customs overlap.

Here’s to Spicy Peace. Here’s to raucous Niceness. Here’s to all of us, imperfect as we are living the perfect, rocky, stretching, trying, failing, succeeding life — together.