Posts Tagged ‘war’

Imagine: A World at Peace

From my Sketchbook

          Fifty years ago, just before we got out of Vietnam, pretty much the same way we got out of Afghanistan last month, and how England got out of Afghanistan in 1842, John Lennon sang a song that brought tears to my eyes every time I heard it.

          It did the same again this morning as I listened to it on my car radio while running an early morning errand.  The song is titled Imagine, and it’s a call for world peace and brotherhood, and asks listeners to imagine what that would be like.

          As my tears flowed once again, I tried hard to imagine such a world, and also thought of Peter, Paul and Mary’s words of 50 years ago as well.  “When will we ever learn …” they sang.

          Lennon was denigrated because Imagine asks that people imagine a world without religion, without heaven and without hell. But looking around, one can’t help but see how religion has created wars, not peace.

          Just as an example, I recall one of my favorite childhood hymns, Onward Christian Soldiers.

          Lennon’s song doesn’t ask for us to imagine a godless world, at least as I understand the lyrics, just that it not be an organized thing in which everyone is expected to believe the same thing – and if they don’t, they’re bad.

Lennon ends Imagine by singing that he may be a dreamer, but that he is not the only one. I hope someday you’ll join us and the world will live as one.

           I admit it. I’m a dreamer. And thinking about the possibility of world peace makes me cry. I know I’m not going to see it. But it sure would be nice if my great-grandchildren could.

           Pat Bean is a retired award-winning journalist who lives in Tucson with her canine companion, Scamp. She is a wondering-wanderer, avid reader, enthusiastic birder, Lonely Planet Community Pathfinder, Story Circle Network board member, author of Travels with Maggie available on Amazon (Free on Kindle Unlimited), and is always searching for life’s silver lining.

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Wouldn’t it be nice if our futures followed a path that led to world peace? — Photo taken at Point Pelee National Park in Canada by Pat Bean

“My first wish is to see this plague of mankind, war, banished from the earth.” – George Washington.

My Wondering Mind Goes Amuck

When I was a young kid in the 1940s and ‘50s, the most popular game for the neighborhood kids was war, with cowboys being the heroes and Indians the villains. I always played Roy Rogers. He was my hero, and if I couldn’t be him, I wouldn’t play.

Instead of asking for a doll for Christmas, I wanted a pair of guns, which I got. They were made from cheap plastic, and painted silver, which quickly wore off. I remember practicing my fast-draw for hours.

Perhaps we should get our children and grandchildren out into nature more, so they can enjoy the peaceful settings of Mother Nature. — Photo taken on Florida’s Merritt Island by Pat Bean

Eventually I grew up, and realized war was real, and butt ugly. I refused to buy toy guns for my children, although others did, and I didn’t take them away from them. They, too, played war.

These days I understand American children, at least those whose lives aren’t trapped by computer war games, still play war with siblings and neighborhood kids. But their heroes are more likely to be Han Solo or Luke Skywalker, or perhaps G.I. Joe. Sadly, in many war-torn countries, children play war emulating real role models, and real events.

Is war a part of our psyche, I ask myself? How did it become a children’s game?

Why are computer war games among the most popular? How do we influence kids to want to place peaceful games? Can we?

As usual this wondering mind of mine is running amuck with questions to which I have no answers. All I can do is try to continue believing that someday war will be a word that has outlived its usefulness.

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Bean Pat: Telling Herstories https://storycirclenetwork.wordpress.com/ A blog for female writers sponsored by Story Circle Network, to which I belong.

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“Look at the trees, look at the birds, look at the clouds, look at the stars… and if you have eyes you will be able to see that the whole existence is joyful. Everything is simply happy. Trees are happy for no reason; they are not going to become prime ministers or presidents and they are not going to become rich and they will never have any bank balance. Look at the flowers – for no reason. It is simply unbelievable how happy flowers are.” – Osho

Looking out on Frenchmen's Bay from Acadia National Park. -- Photo by Pat Bean


My 2006 visit to Acadia National Park in Maine brought back memories of my daughter’s Navy service. Not strange, since the destroyer tender she served on was named after the park.

I had been curious about this park ever since I had sailed aboard the USS Acadia. The occasion was a 1990 Tiger Cruise from Seattle to San Diego, a public relations opportunity to show parents and other loved ones how safely their sailors lived, in my case my youngest daughter.

How can one not feel at peace in such a setting. -- Photo by Pat Bean

These memories, triggered as I drove into the park, also refreshed my unanswered question of why war ships are named after national parks, as in USS Acadia, USS Yellowstone, USS Grand Canyon, USS Yosemite … It seemed like an oxymoron. Parks are places of peace and war are places of


My daughter, who was one of 400 women among the Acadia’s 1,200-person crew, was a welder whose job entailed repairing battle ships that females were not allowed to serve on. That gave me some bit of comfort until she wrote to me about being aboard one of the battleships when it went on full alert. She had been taken aboard the battleship via helicopter to do a bit of welding

Maine's sea coast -- Photo by Pat Bean

By the time I reached the park’s Hulls Cove Visitor Center, the lushness of the roadside trees, which were just barely beginning to change into their autumn colors, glimpses of turquoise Frenchmen’s Bay, and the cheerfulness of pastel purple asters I passed, had put me in a more cheerful frame of mind.

Mother Nature has always had a calming effect on me.

Bean’s Pat: Fun and Fabulousness http://tinyurl.com/87jc6bb Spend a day in Paris while sitting in an easy chair.

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“Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves.” … John Muir

"Rite of Passage" sculpture at Farragut State Park ... Photo by Pat Bean

 He’s called Mack.  He’s the “Rite of Passage” sculpture that sits outside the Museum at the Brig at Farragut State Park, and he represents the 293,381 sailors trained here during World War II.

 I had no idea the park was a former naval base when I accepted an opportunity to volunteer here. I quickly jumped at the offer based on the park’s Idaho Panhandle location. I spent last summer in Texas wilting from too many hot humid summer days and I had no intention of repeating the foolish action.

 I chose well. Today will be my first 90-degree day, and without my native state’s humidity I’m still quite comfortable, although I’ll probably turn on my air conditioner when the sun hits my RV later in the day for a couple of hours. The rest of the time, my campground site is well shaded.

I’m rather fond of Mack. Possibly because my daughter spent 10 years in the Navy, serving in the Gulf War, and possibly because yesterday my son, a career Army man and Blackhawk helicopter pilot, was deployed to Afghanistan. It’s nice to know people care enough about our military sons and daughters to create a work of art memorializing them.

Apple blossoms

Butter and eggs' blossoms

 Meanwhile, sitting here in such a tranquil setting where butter and egg, two-toned yellow blossoms color the landscape beneath the pink flowers of an apple tree and robins raise their babies, it’s hard to imagine the ugliness of a battle field. Sadly I know that most people don’t want to imagine that scene. Perhaps if more people would, an end to war would come sooner.

 I’m a flower child. I want peace. When I was younger I believed I might live to see such a day. I now know I won’t. All I’m left with believing is that perhaps my grandchildren will – and hoping that my son returns safely from Afghanistan.

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