Thursday, February 16, 2012

Tree of Peace

The initial idea for this quilt was to focus on forgiveness and with forgiveness - true forgiveness comes peace.  We are all doing the best we can at any moment and harboring resentment has lead to unhappiness over and over in my own life. 

This past weekend was the weekend of the coyote that I am doing where I am learning to be a mentor and community builder under the model of the 8 shields - a concept from the 8 shields instituteEvan brought in an Odawa Elder, Paul Raphael, to come and speak to us about how community works on his reservation. My heart is still overflowing from the wisdom he shared with us about rebuilding the community to bring about peace. With this wisdom comes a lot of forgiveness and a letting go within ourselves of how attached we are to how people should act or how people shound have acted in the past.  In his community, they focus less on the me and more on the we.  I find myself returning over and over to that statement trying to see it becoming a reality in my own life.  Are my actions and thoughts good for the whole and not just myself?  This feels so contrary to our culture.

In his culture there is the Tree of Peace.  Oh... how I love the sound of that..  In his culture that tree is the cedar tree - not the red cedars that we have in Georgia, but the "real cedar tree" as he says.  (The red cedars we have in Georgia are actually in the juniper family.) 

I love the sound of Tree of Peace and how it rolls off my tongue.  I am making an apple tree and not a cedar tree, and I am still deciding to call this new quilt Tree of Peace.

I'm seeking forgiveness both for myself and my own actions as well as offering forgiveness to all those who in my mind have wronged me over my lifetime. I am re-writing my life story to see peace in all my nooks and crannys. I am letting my heart song shine so I can continue to be a strong voice in my community and truly serve my community in the best capacity I can.  I am seeking peace in my heart, peace in my life, peace in my community.

Thank you so much Paul for all that you shared with us this weekend (in spite of the wind and the smoke and the cold) and thank you Evan for bringing all this goodness to my home town and guiding us towards the true gift of peace.

Until next time,


  1. Sarah, as usual, this quilt is moving, the words are moving, you are inspiring!! Thanks for sharing with us. Love you!!

  2. Love this one, Sarah, and your artist's statement about it.