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home : insight & opinion : guest columns May 24, 2016

8/10/2006 3:08:00 PM
Guest Column
Being "at peace" is a choice we make
By SHEILA DUCOMMON
For the Daily News

Sunday morning, and that familiar whine let me know that it must be 5:30. I took a deep breath and prayed he would change his mind so I could continue this restful sleep, but it wasn't not too long until a cold nose touched my face and I opened my eyes to find his eyes fixed on mine.

With his job completed of waking me up, he bounced off of the bed and waited for me to follow. I glanced at the clock which said 5:22 (close enough), and slowly dragged myself up and slipped on some shoes to take Toby, an eight-pound ball of fur called a Pomeranian, out for his morning constitution.

I stepped outside and could hardly believe it's August. I almost needed a jacket, but the fresh air felt so good. I could still smell the fresh-mown grass now covered with dew. I tied Toby to his usual spot and sat in my yard swing to enjoy this moment. The rhythmic clangs of two oil pumps echoed through the corn fields surrounding the house, their familiar sound of iron upon iron not missing a beat. The birds presented me a morning concert and had even invited a whippoorwill to join in song.

I looked around taking in the beauty of the moment, then went in to catch a few more winks before the "real" alarm went off. Snuggled under the quilt once again, I took in the sounds around me - the continual snore of my loving husband lying next to me, the hum of the refrigerator, the ticking of a clock and the sound of silence. Feeling contented, I once again surrendered to the world of sleep.

Later, while finishing getting ready for the morning services, I heard the resounding ring of the church bell calling people to worship. I knew it must be 8:30 and that our faithful bell ringer, Rondel Boyd, was here, which meant I had 20 more minutes to get my hair to cooperate before walking next door to the church house.

Sound boring? Sound mundane? Then, go turn on your favorite news channel. Listen to the sounds of bombs as they land and destroy their designated targets. Listen to the cries of the mothers for their children. Listen to the soldier screaming for help for his fallen comrade. We watch in horror and wonder how this all started, and yet there are homes all around us at war. Could be one down the street! Could be your next-door neighbor! Could be you! Differences turning into disgust. Disgust turning into indifference. Indifference turning into hatred and hatred expressed in abuse or abandonment. No peace to be found.

Nobody is exempt! We all have the same capability for hatred. On the other hand - we all have the same capability for peace. I don't think there are too many of us that can say we haven't ever been hurt by someone - a friend, family member, co-worker - but it's what we choose to do with the injustice that determines the end result of the conflict. Will we choose peace or war?

A very wise man named Paul wrote in one of his letters to live peaceably with all men if at all possible. Sy Miller and Jill Jackson penned the words and music to a beautiful song that says "Let me walk with my brother in perfect harmony.... Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me!"

Will I choose peace today? Will you choose peace today?

I walked into the church house to find people greeting one another either with a hug, a pat on the back, shaking hands, etc... I heard the laughter of the children and I caught a few to sneak a little kiss on the top of their heads. I made my way to the back row to get my weekly hugs and worked my way back to the second pew from the front, greeting my church family and listening to joys and sorrows and sharing joys and sorrows. I settled in my seat, look back and saw that the children and teens had all settled in with their parents or grandparents. All was well.

This world may not be at peace - but I'm at peace with my world. Are you?

Sheila Ducommon lives in rural Oblong.





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