Our peace tulips planted last September for Peace Day (the 21st) look just about to open under the slow coming UK spring to summer sun.
Meanwhile attending to other personal gardens of creativity I've been examining many photos I've taken or received from Project participants over the years - either February Community Valentine give-outs of poetry and diverse flowers, my trip to the extraordinary flower auction in the Netherlands, or bulb selling last year at autumn festivals.
Inspired by nature's creativity I got a little creative myself - adding borders, edits and crops to colourful images I've received from different locations since I started the Project in 2006.
|Original photo by Morten Årstad|
Next month I go to Wales to view VPP tulips which are part of the Peace Garden of Peace Mala. A group of us together with participating schoolchildren will do a pilgrimage to a historic monastery on the coast - The Steps of St David. The pilgrimage is not only a chance for reflection on the Swansea coast but a fundraiser as well for Peace Mala's educational work on religious diversity in schools. Schools work towards accreditation from Peace Mala demonstrating commitments set out by the Welsh Assembly Government:
* Citizenship and stewardship
* Need and rights
* Sustainable change
* Quality of life
* Values and perceptions
* Conflict resolution
Creativity is key which includes Peace Gardens and symbols such as the famed Peace Mala bracelet worn as a commitment to religious diversity and unity.
Mala means garland of flowers in Sanskrit and it is in this vein of creativity I look to my own poetic gardens both within and out in the spirit of poet Wendell Berry -
The Peace of Wild Things
When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children's lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.