Today we bring you a Christmas blog post, written back in 2018 (pre-Covid) by our Poet-in-Residence, Jude. The blog is entitled ‘Peace at Christmas’, something very apt for the holiday season this year. Many of us are longing for a peaceful, uninterrupted time with loved ones, putting to rest the last 2 years and the heavy toll that the coronavirus has taken on the way we live our lives.
In her post, Jude talks about her son joining in with the song entitled “Song for Peace.” Some of the words in that song are so reflective of what we might be wishing for today and for the next year to come. And yet, at times and perhaps especially now, it can be really difficult to identify what our role in creating peace might be.
We hope you enjoy Jude’s words and take this opportunity to wish you all a very peaceful Christmas.
Sarah, Scheme Manager
Peace at Christmas
Just back from seeing my children sing in their school Christmas carol concert. A proud parent moment. My son happened to be in the front row (unusual – he’s tall and usually consigned to the back). He performed his songs beautifully. The real lump–in–the–throat moment came with a song entitled “Song for Peace” of which the lyrics are something like, “I wish for hope, I wish for joy, I wish for peace.” Very moving to see 7 – 10-year-olds express such simple, profound and aspirational sentiments. The lump in my throat almost turned into a tear in my eye. Except, just at that moment, I remembered that the boy now singing, “I wish for peace” had spent the previous two and a half hours fighting his brother.
Ruthless competition, one-up-manship, brother-baiting and plain old wrestling. Not unusual among siblings. But the memory of it punctures the otherwise sweet moment. Something about the human condition shines through – we may wish for peace… but do we have the wherewithal to create it? Or even to create the conditions where it might be possible? I look at my innocent child anew – my innocent, ignorant child. As a child, he is innocent of wrongdoing but also ignorant of right-doing. He innocently wishes for something called Peace but is ignorant of the action he needs to take himself if he is to turn his wish into a reality (how many adults seem still to be at that stage?) He’s a little human, yet to see the irony of singing for peace whilst kicking your brother under the table and claiming he started it.
“Well done,” I say at the end of the concert, “you sang beautifully.” This isn’t the time for complicated life lessons.
May we all have a peaceful Christmas – and may those of you who have to work hard for that peace be particularly blessed! And it occurred to me back on Remembrance Sunday this year, that when wars are over and true peace comes, the most immediate and natural reaction is to party. May you all have a peaceful and party-filled Christmas, and may all your children’s songs come true!!!