Peace in a pod

© Norah Colvin

Gardeners understand that effort is required to create a garden that provides the desired outcome. The same is true for raising children, with the adage “we reap what we sow” appropriate in both instances.

A school principal surmised once, after observing my interactions with children, that I must have a beautiful garden. But such was not so. The time that may have been spent nurturing plants, I turned instead to nurturing minds, including my own.

While the sowing is important, so too is the nurturing. Just as there is more to raising a seed than simply sowing one, there is more to raising a child than simply having one. The amount of care required depends on the stage of growth. How they are nurtured in the beginning stages sets the foundation for future growth and determines the harvest.

Susan Scott was thinking along similar lines when she wrote New Moon, Rosh Hoshanah and the Equinox for her Garden of Eden blog this week. She says,

“A good time to plant – seeds of whatever kind – love, patience, kindness, joy are a few that come to mind – anything that blossoms in receptive and fertile soil.”

The words resonate with me at any time, but especially this week when writing my response to the flash fiction prompt at the Carrot Ranch Literary Community. Charli Mills challenges writers to In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about what it is to gather a harvest.

With the International Day of Peace and its 2017 theme Together for Peace: Respect, Safety and Dignity for All falling just a few days ago on 21 September, it all seems very timely.

Jennie Fitzkee, a remarkable early childhood teacher who blogs at A Teacher’s Reflections, shared her, and her students’, thoughts  about peace on the International Day of Peace. Jennie is a wonderful role model for peace and is passionate about nurturing young children.  She says,

“peace is about the heart, thinking and doing the right thing. The little things are the most important of all, because they’re the foundation for the big things.  By teaching children’s heart they come to understand peace.”

In a previous post Plant the seeds of literacy, I included this excerpt from Jackie French’s 2015 Senior Australian of the Year Valedictory Speech:

“You never know what seeds you plant will grow; if they will keep growing; who will take them and tend them. But there is one thing I have learned in my 62 years: keep planting seeds.

Never think: I am 62 and still have not achieved world peace, universal tolerance and justice, or even an Australia where every single child is given the chance to learn to read.

Change is never fast enough for any person of goodwill.

A rain drop is just a rain drop. But together we are a flood.  Together we have changed the world.”

She concludes her speech with these words:

“Let us give our children role models who do not, will not despair, no matter how long it takes to change the world. And let us never surrender, no matter how tired we are, or how long it takes. Because with these weapons we shape the future of our planet.”

I also employed the garden analogy in a post entitled  The classroom garden.  Responding to Charli’s prompt to write about “fruit”, I included the word “harvest”.  Rather than simply repeat that story, which would be pleasingly easy but teach me little, I’ve gone in a different direction this time.

In her post, Charli talks about harvesting peas; peas in a pod. It doesn’t take much imagination to turn this into “Peace in a pod.”

Wouldn’t that be wonderful, to plant a seed of peace with “respect, safety, and dignity for all”; “love, patience, kindness, joy”; and “universal tolerance and justice”; nurture it, watch it grow, and then harvest the bountiful rewards. It’s not only the role of teachers and parents, it’s the responsibility of society at large.

Here’s my story. I hope you like it:

Peace in a pod

“The Peace Prize goes to …”

The applause was deafening. It took minutes to realise it was their life’s work being recognised. Who’d have thought? Against a long-range solar-powered superstealth aircraft with adaptive camouflage, how would a peace capsule stand a chance? They stumbled to the stage, minds a-tumble with words, phrases, and blank spaces. In their years of preparation, of tweaking combinations of ingredients, they’d never prepared for this. The standing ovation relieved them of the necessity, drowning each word. Finally, peace pods were ready for harvest and distribution. With mass inoculation, peace was now a real possibility.

 

After writing the story, I realised that such a pill may not be the panacea I was initially contemplating. Any pill that controls the thoughts and behaviour of the masses could be just as easily used for evil as for good. I may have to send those two back to the lab for further tweaking.

Thank you for reading. I appreciate your feedback. Please share your thoughts.

36 thoughts on “Peace in a pod

  1. Lisa @ The Meaning of Me

    I love the idea you present in your flash – good in theory, yes? And I love your second thoughts afterward. True enough that we have to recognize that something so potentially powerful could indeed be a danger in the wrong hands, used with ill intent. A good caveat for all of us.

    Liked by 1 person

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    1. Norah Post author

      Thanks, Lisa. Sadly I think too many “good” inventions have been quickly turned to “bad” uses. I guess the effects always depend on how they are being used, and by whom.

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  2. julespaige

    Science can harvest new thinking. And that is indeed why we grow our children… In part anyway.
    Education that is harvested will hopefully win out and take care of most of our ills. Information and choice have to go hand in hand.

    Just this morning I had to take my grandson to school…I have some California poppies that had seed pods – Son of Son was helping me water my plants. We opened one of the pods to see the seeds. And he wanted some to grow in his front yard next spring. He told me a neighbor had given him some pepper seeds too. Fall planting here may not get the results he wants – but that is part of learning.

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    1. Norah Post author

      Thanks for adding your wisdom to the pot, Jules. It’s good to get a balance of nutrients.
      It will be interesting to hear what comes of Son of Son’s planting. I know you sowed some pretty good seeds that are bearing fruit now with SoS’s curiosity.
      You’re so right. Not getting the expected result makes for all sorts of new learning. I’m all for that!

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    1. Norah Post author

      Thank you, Andrea.
      After posting and before you wrote your comment, I read your beautiful post about peace too, and was so delighted that I wanted to leave a comment but could see no way of doing so. I did tweet it, but it’s not the same, and sadly the link doesn’t work and I wasn’t able to find the post again, otherwise I would have left the link here so that any future readers could pop over to read too. I do hope you share it again. I really enjoyed its sentiment.

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    1. Norah Post author

      I’m pleased my flash gave you a laugh. It’s a pity some other inventors whose creations have been used for no-good didn’t go back to the drawing board too! I’m so glad that Jackie French’s speech got you fired up. I find her very inspirational. I really enjoy her writing style too, and am just disappointed that I don’t have time to read more.

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  3. Kate

    I love the care and patience with which you sowed and nurtured the children under your care. Your professional garden and your mind are bountiful and we are lucky to have you sharing it with us. I liked the way you honored the International Day of Peace and Harvest all in one.

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  4. D. Wallace Peach

    Beautiful post, Norah. You captured some lovely quotes and your words come across with grace and compassion. I worked for a long time in early childhood mental health, and the analogy comparing children to gardens is apt on many levels. I hope we continue to speak for a healthy and nurturing world in which they can grow. ❤

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    1. Norah Post author

      Thank you so much for your lovely supportive comment, Diana. I’m pleased the analogy works from your perspective also. I agree that the conversations on these issues are very important.

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  5. dgkaye

    Beautiful post Norah. I loved the whole theme of peace and the shares you mentioned and linked to. In fact, I just came from Jennie’s beautiful post on her blog too. Love seeing so many posts advocating for peace. 🙂 x

    Liked by 1 person

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    1. Norah Post author

      Thank you, Debby. Jennie’s post is wonderful, isn’t it? I admire the work she does with children. She plants wonderful seeds and nurtures them well. Maybe, if we all raise our voices together, peace will have a chance.

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    1. Norah Post author

      Thank you for the kindness in your words. Much appreciated. I enjoy making the most of opportunities to grow minds, especially my own. Open minds must embrace all that peace means.

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  6. thecontentedcrafter

    Ah, you are a wonderful woman Norah! Such a lovely inspiring post and one that I needed to read after our elections. I experienced such a flash of despair as I hadn’t experienced in many, many years that it almost overwhelmed me. And then, stumbling back to sanity and finding hope and gratitude again (mostly through observing how many young people care about the outcome) I read this and find myself at peace again 🙂 No matter that your scientists need to rethink their universal panacea – perhaps it will inspire those who really matter (parents and teachers) to do their jobs as well as they are able. xoxo

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    1. Norah Post author

      I’m so pleased the post helped you find equilibrium again, Pauline. I don’t know much of you election, other than your country is obviously divided, as is ours over the same-sex marriage vote, as was the US with their presidential voting, and the UK with Brexit. Interesting (despairing?) times. I love the simplicity of your panacea. Now if only we had a magic wand, rather than a pill. 🙂

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      1. thecontentedcrafter

        We’ve had legal same sex marriage since 2013 so that isn’t any kind of issue any more here Norah. It’s more ecological issues and the selling off of our waterways, land and housing to off-shore buyers, putting more cash into the pockets of those already bulging and ignoring the mess of our health system and those in the lower socio-economic strata……. And of course the insistence of this government in joining in America’s wars! And don’t get me started on the need to offer aid, assistance, homes and education for more refugees!! The after-thought promise of a minor tax break in the pockets of the working class and they got in again. I was more disappointed in the short sightedness of the majority (albeit a diminishing majority) than anything – but I guess in these times of escalating costs one can’t blame them – it is hard to make ends meet!

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        1. Norah Post author

          It sounds like things are pretty similar on both sides of the ditch. Except we’re still working on the same-sex marriage issue. So you’ve had it since 2013 and the country didn’t explode or sink to the bottom of the sea! We’ve had ads on TV with all sorts of dire warnings and fear mongering. Sad state of affairs. Enjoy the weekend.

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  7. Annecdotist

    Ah, what beautiful post and flash. Don’t knock yourself about the mind-controlling peace pill – metaphorically the seed is there in your preamble. Nurture children according to their needs rather than our convenience and we might indeed have world peace.
    I like that your boss thought you must be a gardener but you’ve been much too busy growing minds to bother with that.

    Liked by 1 person

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    1. Norah Post author

      I very much appreciate your response, Anne. Yes, our actions and words are far more important than a pill. World peace would be wonderful but seems to be drifting further out of reach at the moment. I hope we pull it back to shore and safety soon.
      Gardening would be such fun. I know you enjoy it, as do many others. I just wish there weren’t so many other things I want to do more. 🙂

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