New Day Herald

Blessed by Heaven: The International Day of Peace


Christened by rain, leaves quivered with dew. Dark clouds moved aside for blue skies. The Heavens seemed to bless Prana’s International Day of Peace Open House on September 21.

The International Day of Peace Team Captain, Sylvia Giussani commandeered staff, volunteers and signs into place with precision and perfection. While I swept droplets of dew from outside dining tables, birds harmonized their songs with leaves being raked off the labyrinth.

As mysterious as weather patterns were the number of participants. How many would accept the invite to Prana’s International Day of Peace? Social media experts, Kim Guisinger and Debbie Roth spread the word electronically. Kay and Darrell Clauson contributed a beautiful banner that was displayed on the front fence: Join us for International Day of Peace Celebrations. Both the new-fangled and old-fashioned methods worked! 44 newcomers appeared alongside an almost equal number from the MSIA community. All were greeted by the warm smiles of Juan Roberto Schulz and Lillian Bajor.

Circling around the labyrinth at noon, Paul Kaye led the crowd into a minute of silence for peace. (Others around the globe also heeded the UN suggested moment of peace at 12 p.m.) “He made us notice the sense of unity,” said Sylvia Giussani.

Indeed a magical blanket of serenity seemed to envelop everybody. Distinctions between stranger and old friend disappeared. Paul Kaye’s reminder of John-Roger’s quote was never truer: “Peace is the cessation of againstness.”

The magic continued. Alethea Lamb played soothing tones on her clarinet. Dulcet notes drifted towards the gardens creating greater harmony on the grounds. The wizardry of NOW Productions’ Orion Lopez, Richard Chan and Leigh Merrihew made sure the quality was pitch-perfect

Paul Kaye introduced people to Spirit in two Meditation & Sound sessions. Many also journeyed to the rose of love on the labyrinth. Inspired by the events, the peace tree blossomed with more messages and visions of peace.

Speaking of visions, Chef David Funk’s banquet tables were laden with all things delicious. His homemade lemonade and luncheon were readily consumed. At the refreshment table, chocolate chip cookies materialized. “Best I’ve ever had,” commented one guest. Maybe it was the loving Marjorie placed with the cookies. Each one was wrapped by her with a Peace Awareness Labyrinth & Gardens sticker.

After the day’s delights, bundles of free J-R books, PAL&G T-shirt giveaways and selfies by the Peace Pole, visitors from far (Russia!) and near (a block away) headed for home.

Shakespeare wrote:

“The quality of mercy is not strain’d.
It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven
Upon the place beneath. It is twice blest:
It blesseth him that gives and him that takes.”

(The Merchant of Venice, Act 4, Scene 1, Lines 180-187)

The same could be said about peace.

-Kim Watkinson

Fun Facts for History Fans:
The United Nations began its celebrations of peace in 1982.
In 2002, September 21 was declared as the official date for the
International Day of Peace.

Event Photos

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