santa cruz wharf

19 November 2009

Cy Timmy….Cy

That ear to ear, goofy,grin girl is my daughter Rhiannon. She recently attended a philanthropic event where she was able to meet and hang out with some of her all time favorite people.

rhi and tim

The boy she is with…won a little award today…for the second time in his young life.

Congrats Tim…very well deserved.

05 November 2009

Dona Nobis Pacem ~ Blog Blast for Peace 2009

peace globe 09

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (February 27, 1807 – March 24, 1882) was an incredibly talented educator and poet who endured great personal tragedy.

Internationally educated from the age of three, Longfellow taught at Bowdoin and Harvard.  The first American to translate Dante’s “Divine Comedy” and other classics, he is probably is best remembered as one of the most beloved American poets.

From the elementary school required recitation “
The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere

Listen my children
and you shall hear

to the the epic “Song of Hiawatha”

By the shores of Gitche Gumee,
By the shining Big-Sea-Water,

many of the lyrical phrases of our literary culture were penned by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

He lost two wives.  The first to miscarriage in 1835. The second in a tragic fire he blamed himself for.  In the twenty years he lived following her death in 1861, he never fully recovered, and suffered additional tragedies.

I make note of the dates as in 1864, Longfellow hit the low point in his life. Our country, the United States, was in the depth of a horrendous Civil War. Nowadays, we say Civil War and think of cotton and Tara and reflection of the first step in our nation’s history to end slavery. Sometimes we overlook 620,000 Americans died during the Civil War.

It was on Christmas in 1864 Longfellow heard the bells on Christmas morning and thought of his wife, and agonized over the injuries his son had suffered fighting. In his darkest despair he questioned if there was any Peace on Earth, indeed if there ever would be again.

In that moment, as he wrote the poem which would become a beautiful Christmas carol, he knew in all certainty that the good in mankind would indeed prevail. That the hate which seemed so powerful would fail…and that there would be Peace on Earth.

Casting Crowns has a version of this song I am pretty fond of.  I could only find a “live” clip on youtube. It’s pretty cool to hear all the children singing “Peace on Earth” throughout the song.

Christmas Bells
the poem by HW Longfellow:

I heard the bells on Christmas Day
Their old, familiar carols play,
And wild and sweet
The words repeat
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

And thought how, as the day had come,
The belfries of all Christendom
Had rolled along
The unbroken song
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

Till ringing, singing on its way,
The world revolved from night to day,
A voice, a chime,
A chant sublime
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

Then from each black, accursed mouth
The cannon thundered in the South,
And with the sound
The carols drowned
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

It was as if an earthquake rent
The hearth-stones of a continent,
And made forlorn
The households born
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

And in despair I bowed my head;
"There is no peace on earth," I said;
”For hate is strong,
And mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!"

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
"God is not dead, nor doth He sleep;
The Wrong shall fail,
The Right prevail,
With peace on earth, good-will to men."

Biography (dot com)
National Center for Public Policy and Research
The Other Pages (dot org)

As previously mentioned, today is the annual Blog Blast for Peace thanks to Mimi.  Please visit here to catch the thousands of Peace offerings from literally all over the Globe.