Powering on through the Dust

Strange weather!  Although it is downright spring like right now, this morning was a different story.  Around 6 am, a storm flew through, bringing pounding rain and then hail.  It lasted only about 30 minutes but left in its wake a carpet of little red buds of some type from the trees.  I surveyed the cold frame to see how the lettuce fared since I had opened up the top of the cold frame to let air circulate given the warming temperatures the past few days.   All lettuce seedlings accounted for, although one looked a bit flat.  Not sure if it was from the hail or the previous squirrel attack.   I also checked out the three terra cotta pots where I had planted lettuce seeds.  Woo hoo!  A bed of sprouts greeted me.  It never ceases to amaze me how soil, a seed and water can create a seedling.  Then add sun, and poof!  You have a full grown plant that can feed and nourish us.

On the inside front, the Hagrid proof set up is working!  This would be set my fourth set up.   The cage idea was perfect.  Unfortunately, the cage we had (see photo of set up #3) was not large enough to hold all my seed and seedling pots.  So my mother in law loaned to me a very large cage that she had (see photo of set up #4).   It is perfect!!  My tomato seedlings are happily growing and love the grow light. My eggplant seedlings just started to sprout this weekend.  I am a bit concerned about the pepper seedlings.  No sightings yet.  Not sure what is up with that.  I am new to planting pepper seeds so will wait it out a bit before planting more or, perish the thought, buying the seedlings from the nursery.

On the peace front, today was the first day in our new building.  Wow.  For well over a decade, we were sharing space in the National Restaurant Association building.  Finally, thanks to Congress who appropriated funds, we have a symbol on the Mall as a testament to our American values and our commitment to peace.   In the back of many of our minds, however, as we moved into the building, is the specter of politics and whether the American values set forth by our country’s founders will prevail over personal agendas and short-sided political gain.  With the attack on our budget and our very existence and contribution, it takes everything we have to tune this out and focus on the mission that we all are passionate about.  The mission of preventing and resolving conflict.   But it only takes us to look at what is going around in the world, with so many conflicts and so many people yearning for democratic changes — to know that we are truly needed.  It helps to know that our many friends (from all quarters:  the military, peacebuilding community, diplomats, civil society and more) are coming out in our support.  

Amazing women of Huanta, Peru

I think of the widows that I recently interviewed in Kosovo and Peru and the atrocities that they suffered.  I think of the soldiers I met in Guatemala and how they yearn for a time when they can be protectors of society as a whole and not to a limited few in charge.  I think of youth that I interviewed in Nicaragua and Nepal and their hope (no demand) for a just and equitable future.  I see them all in my mind’s eye and know that with what they have been through in their lives, this little bit of turbulence in mine, is nothing.   It gives me strength to fight on.   In the words of my seven year old just this morning, “When dismay comes with the dusk, you must power on through the dust.”   And that I will.


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