In celebration of Earth Day 2021, when so many around the world continue to face the dual physical and mental challenges of this pandemic, we are proud to sow the seed of our first annual Peace Tree! Whose every leaf represents the individual contribution of men, women, and children from around the world; sharing their personal message of peace with us all.
It is our sincere hope that over the coming months this Peace Tree will continue to grow and flourish, to bring hope for those in need and a greater sense of community for contributors the world over. What does it mean to have personal peace? How do we account for the simple pleasures of the every day? The answers are, no doubt, as diverse and plentiful as life itself.
Help us grow this budding forest of healing - leave a message of caring, an original poem of gratitude, and take with you the good tidings of a fellow traveller on their way. Let our Peace Tree serve as a gentle space for positive reflection and renewal as we rally to face each new day together.
Add a leaf to the Peace Tree: send your message to firstname.lastname@example.org
Celebration of Earth Day
On Thursday 22nd April 2021, it is UN Earth Day. The aim of Earth Day is to “…diversify, educate and activate the environmental movement worldwide.” In almost every country across the globe events will be taking place to raise awareness of the need for a transformational change in the world. The theme for this year is “Restore Our Earth”.
The official Earth Day events are strongly focused on people and what we can do as individuals to drive change. They begin on Tuesday 20th April with a youth climate summit. On Wednesday 21st April there will be an education summit involving participants from every continent. Then on Earth Day itself (Thursday 22nd April) there will be workshops, panel discussions and special performances.
Confronting global challenges
Last year was the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. After relying on nature and the less material resources it provides to us so much last year, more people are aware that pulling together, celebrating our planet and working with like-minded people to protect it for the future is more urgent than ever. Putting people at the centre of these peaceful events allows for conversations, debates and problem-solving on a global scale.
The achievements of the Earth Day organisation are vast, including:
Their work complements the values and vision of Peace Partners. As a UK-based charity, our aim is to support people in the UK, but we also take an International view and work with partners in other countries.
Making a difference
Over the past year the ability to get out and enjoy the peace of nature has been very important to many people. Connecting with nature helps people manage their mental health. Not only this, but the contribution of living nature through ecosystems - the diversity of organisms they contain and the services they provide (known as ecosystem services) - provides social, economic and other health benefits, aside from mental health. These are things we should value if we value ourselves and one another.
The issues currently impacting the Earth can seem massive and over-whelming. If everyone who cares about our planet, the people and other organisms on it, starts listening to each other and working together we can start to solve our problems. On any issue. All that is needed is the will to start. Why not join us in getting involved with Earth Day? Help us to shape caring, sustainable futures for everyone.
Earth Day PeaceCast - Partnering with PeaceCast.tv
Peace Partners UK and PeaceCast are joining together for a special Earth Day on Thursday 22nd April to show how people and organisations in countries around the world are honouring the earth and protecting the environment.
Inspiring and entertaining videos highlighting the activities of people in countries worldwide will air on PeaceCast.tv and other screening platforms.
Watch the England videos Peace Partners has curated here
Watch the complete Earth Day PeaceCast 2021 here
I See What I Want
We conclude our eco-poetics series in Palestine, whose desert landscapes and famed olive trees continue to persevere through decades of uncertain turmoil. Mahmoud Darwish, widely considered the national poet of Palestine, is a symbol of our shared struggle for peace and stability. “I See What I Want”, with its vivid depictions of natural beauty across this spacious earth, is an appropriate (if all-encompassing) poem to carry out beyond our month-long series:
I see what I want in the farm ... right now I see
braids of wheat combed by the wind, and I close my eyes
This mirage leads to Nihawand,
and this calm leads to lapis lazuli
I see what I want in the sea ... right now I see
a rush of swans at sunset, and I close my eyes
This wandering leads to an Andalusia,
and this sail is a dove's prayer over me
I see what I want in the night ... right now I see
the endings of this long life at one of the cities' gates
I will toss the pages of my log into the cafes at the dock and find a seat for my absence aboard one of the ships
I see what I want in the soul: the face of a stone
scratched by lightning- green, oh land, green is the land of my soul-
haven't I been a child playing at the edge of a well?
I'm still playing ... this space is my playground and the stone is my wind
I see what I want in peace ... right now I see
a deer and grass and a stream of water ... and I close my eyes:
this deer is asleep on my arm
and the hunter asleep, too, near its sons, in a faraway place
I see what I want in war ... right now I see
the arms of our ancestors squeezing a wellspring into green stone
And our fathers inherited the water, but did not bequeath it, and I close my eyes:
The land in my hands is the work of my hands
I see what I want in prison: days of a flowering
that led from here to two strangers in me
seated in a garden - I close my eyes:
How spacious is the earth! How beautiful the earth from the eye of a needle
I see what I want in lightning ... right now I see
farms bursting from their chains with vegetation- bravo!
The song of the walnut floats down, white above the villages' smoke
like doves ... doves we feed alongside our children
I see what I want in love ... right now I see
horses making the plain dance, fifty guitars sighing
and a swarm of bees sucking wild mulberry, and I close my eyes
to see our shadow behind this homeless place
I see what I want in death: I fall in love, and my chest opens
and a white unicorn jumps out and gallops over the clouds
soaring on endless gauze, swirling with eternal blue
So please do not stop my death, do not return me to a star of soil
I see what I want in blood: right now I see the murdered,
his heart lit by the bullet, say to his murderer: from now on you remember no one but me.
I killed you without meaning to but from now on
you remember no one but me, nor can you endure spring flowers
I see what I want in the theatre of the absurd: fiends in judges' robes, the emperor's hat, the masks of our time, the colour of old sky, women who dance for the palace, the chaos of armies
Then I choose to forget everything, remember only the noise behind the curtain
I see what I want in poetry: when poets died, we attended their funerals, buried them with flowers, returned safely to their poetry ...
now in the age of magazines, movies, and droning, we laugh—sprinkle a handful of soil on their poems, come home to find them at our door
I see at dawn what I want in the dawn ... right now I see
nations looking for bread in other nations' bread
Bread is what unravels us from the silk of drowsiness, from the cotton of our dreams
Is it from a grain of wheat that the dawn of life shines ...
and the dawn of war?
I see what I want in people:
their desire for yearning, their reluctance to go to work,
their urgency to come home ...
and their need for greetings in the morning
A Spring gardens slideshow!