I recently bought a copy of "Knitting For Peace," by Betty Christiansen. I heartily encourage you to buy it because Christiansen has collected all the different charity organizations and their projects in one book. I had downloaded a few of these patterns already, but reading the stories behind these charities and organizations is truly inspiring. What knitter doesn't have a few odd skeins hanging about? There are 15 patterns that will happily use them up. And there are so many different opportunities for knitters to help locally and globally, that it's hard not to immediately start a project...or a charity knitting group..or join one. All the information is there.
As many of you may know, our dog, Archie, got hit by a car and died in front of the church across the street. One of the associate pastors was helping direct traffic while I bundled Archie up and put him in my car. She introduced herself and asked if I was alright to drive. I thanked her for her kindness and left for the vet's office. Later that night, the doorbell rang and there was the same pastor. She had come by to see how we were coping and she spoke to the boys about The Rainbow Bridge. We then got to chatting about the various activities and groups at the church and I mentioned that I was a knitter and that there were lots of charity knitting projects out there. She got a very interested look....and I may be starting a charity knitting group after the New Year!
All this has gotten me to think about what is peace, exactly? Is it too big a goal for us as humans to really achieve on the planet? Should we scale back and settle for, say, a peaceful family? Maybe one peaceful day in the family? A peaceful neighborhood? A peaceful moment? These questions were floating around in my head because I realized just how much war and fighting has gone on throughout my life. My father served in the Marines during the Korean War. My childhood was punctuated by the Vietnam War and ongoing Cold War. My older brothers narrowly avoided the draft, thanks to President Ford. I worked at the Washington Post during the first Gulf War. Now, I'm watching my children become almost immune to the images of the current war in Iraq, much like I did as a kid watching Walter Cronkite and waiting for the cartoons to come on.
And these are just the ones that the US has been openly involved in. Throw in the wars, attacks, rebellions and genocides that have occurred globally and you're looking at a world full of seemingly nonstop violence. So, what is peace? "The absence of war or other hostilities," according to my dictionary. "Inner contentment, serenity" is a later definition. Hmmmm, good to know, but not much help. I guess we all know what peace is but how to go about achieving it is the big question....
One stitch at a time?
I wish everyone a very Happy New Year and all the best for 2007. We're leaving for the big holiday visit to the inlaws in Miami where the boys will be spoiled rotten and we eat enough Cuban food to blow the South Beach Diet to smithereens. Here's one last pic from 2006: