It was so hot today that after about an hour and a half at the community garden plot, we needed to take a break and get out of the sun. Calvin helped out in the beginning and then went with Patrick to the park next door to the community garden and they played a Harry Potter board game so I could finish my gardening duties. There were only a few other plotters in the community garden while I was there. One plotter was with her parents and this was the first time she had gardened so we talked about tomato supports and ideas. I so love when other plotters are in the garden and we can chat about soil, spacing, water and planting. I love gardening because it allows me to plant seeds of life, witness continual growth and renewal. This helps me when my work often involves the reality of violence and death.
My time in the garden today allowed me to process the news that I received last night from my colleague from Afghanistan. He reported that General Daud Daud (Chief of Police for all of Northern Afghanistan), two Afghan police and two German soldiers were killed by a suicide bomber in an area that was believed to be relatively safe. It was so tragic and hit me very hard last night as I could sense my colleague’s loss, both personally and for his country. It is times like this that renews my resolve for building peace and fostering “soft power” to help put an end to such senseless loss of human life. This coming on Memorial Day weekend which also happens to coincide with the US House of Representatives taking aim again at the peace institute. This time voting a few days back to repeal its charter. I found this so ironic that at the time when we are honoring those who died for our country, we would also be putting such low value on peace and the peacemakers who, working side by side with our troops, risk their own lives to prevent war and save human life.