Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Holiday Prayer, a safe place to live

Richmond, VA… December 2012 …
Across the Nation, communities question “Is there a safe place to live?” A few years ago, U.S.A Today newspaper posed this question when it published a full-page insert. The newspaper reported bad weather as brewing from blizzards to heat waves and across the nation, the prospect of ongoing natural disasters fueled by unhealthy shifts in the environment. Reviewing the report, readers saw a map depict region by region increases in blizzards, snowstorms, earthquakes, flash floods, monsoons, tornadoes, hailstorms, heat waves, hurricanes, typhoons, ice storms, thunderstorms, lightning, tsunamis, nor’easters, river valley flooding, volcanic eruptions and wildfires.

    More recently, communities asked this question when our Nation experienced loss through global civil unrest. For on the anniversary of September 11th, an incident occurred which was described by Hillary Clinton as ‘there will never be peace on earth when there are those who use their religion as an excuse to terrorize others.” And, this week yet another senseless mass murder – students and staff of Sandy Hook school – occur reminding all of us of the frailty of personal safety. So, how under these circumstances do we reconcile its loss, regain a sense of peaceful existence?

     When solicited to creatively define the concept of peace, a Tapestry for Peace was unveiled during a National League of American Pen Women conference held in Denver. Inspired by a Denver Branch Pen Woman, the late Eve Mackintosh and comprised of panels that reflect the diverse nature of common desire for a peaceful world – a safe place in which to live, this tapestry is an expansive work. Measuring more than 250 feet in length, it features 64 panels hand-made by hundreds of people and organizations from across the U.S.A. For those interested, the exhibit is available for showings around the U.S.A. and internationally.

     On the other hand, those who ‘dig in the dirt’ acquire their sense of safety – solace –through another option, renewal of season or planting living green. While not to lessen the impact on any one of the 32 affected families, in a way, Virginia’s green – horticulture – community so-to-speak experienced loss during the Virginia Tech shootings of one of its own, Jocelyne Couture-Nowak. Described by the media as an ‘Adjunct Professor of Foreign Languages that joined Virginia Tech on August 10, 2001 - Jocelyne Couture-Nowak, French Canadian, beloved mother, wife, and a member of the Blacksburg community, in which she and her family have lived since 2001, passed away on April 16, 2007, while engaged in her passion, teaching Intermediate French at Virginia Tech.’ To honor Jocelyne and her family, the state of Virginia’s Green Industry fund a Jocelyne Couture-Nowak Memorial Garden, a terrace at the Hahn Horticulture Garden.

    Perhaps less creative but most certainly essential, regulatory activities occur, too. In early 2013, members of the Global and National Climate Change Academies are scheduled to release eco research compiled by member national and global scientists. Then, our Nation’s elected representatives are legislatively required to review this research and enable eco regulation. In other words, our Nation’s regulatory communities find a way to make sense of loss due to the impact of ongoing natural disasters fueled by unhealthy shifts in the environment. And, hopefully, there will likewise be amongst us those who can make sense of the senseless act of mass murder, find a way to restore our Nation’s sense of public-at-large safety.

      So, whether it is for those who recover from the havoc of natural disasters or impact of global civil unrest or loss through the act of senseless mass murder, in the spirit of the holiday season, let us seek to protect the safety of our communities – business, civic and environmental. For, together, we can make a difference: be seen as people who CARE – set a Climate, not merely adjust to a preexisting one; create an encouraging Attitude, not practice ambivalence; are Receptive to people without losing sight of personal needs; and demonstrate Empathy for others while keeping problems in perspective.

      Regardless of cultural diversity, let’s join in a prayer for “a safe place in which to live, peace on earth and specifically request that it begin with me!”

pix caption - Tapestry of Peace exhibit sponsored by NLAPW

About Wright -
    Identified as an Industry 'mover and shaker' by Landscape Architect magazine, Sylvia Hoehns Wright urges all, during the holiday season, to join in a prayer for “a safe place in which to live, peace on earth and specifically request that it begin with me - become people who CARE!” Details of her activities are available at web site www.TheWrightScoop.com  or facebook group The Wright Scoop or twitter ID WrightScoop.

1 comment:

  1. Another brilliant article, Sylvia. Great to have you on board. Your ideas and topics that you write about are always thought provoking as well as informative.Thank you and Happy New Year!