By Dianna Hatfield Clemenson

The room is cozy, 9’ by 13’, painted a soft green color, the color of pine trees. A carpet of light and dark brown is interrupted only by the green and brown prayer rug. An antique step-stool, covered in long-ago crocheted doilies are adorned with ribbons of purple and green, and delicate pink flowers. The stool holds treasures of meditation and memories, a bell, crosses, candle, seashells.  Underneath are books written for contemplation.

The room is usually silent, but occasional doggy snores can be heard, as well as winter chickadees.  It is a personal soundtrack for peace, the best of which is sometimes silence.  So little in our culture, or world for that matter, seems to support the cultivation of peace. How do we cultivate peace within ourselves? How, please tell me how, can people of goodwill spread love and care for all of us impacted by violence? What do we do to stop the propagation of ridicule, verbal violence, lies, words that create false divisions between human beings? A mission to craft the world into “us” and “them” leads us directly back to the dark ages.

And so, she melts into the soft chair, rocking gently, rocking away the stress and anxiety encountered throughout the day. One wall is adorned with the image of Jesus knocking at the door, the door which has no door handle. The book shelf is topped with wooden cut-outs, painted pine green, in the shape of four trees of different sizes.  It was given over 20 years ago by an elder of exceptional character. Family photos show happy faces, beaming joy to all who look upon them.

And so, she soaks in the silence, peace and joy and prepares to go back into the world tomorrow.

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