The song “Where Have All The Flowers Gone” by Pete Seger and then later sung by the Kingston Trio and Peter, Paul and Mary, is on repeat in my mind. It has been now for a few days. Songs do that to all of us. I haven’t thought of this song in a long,long while although at the time it was popular, it was among my favorites. Yes I am of the age I remember those days. Those great songs. The great peace movements that still make up part of who I am.
The song of course carries a message of the times. Times of war, times of loss. Yet somehow it can apply to many different thoughts. Roads, paths, avenues. The ones we walk. The ones we dream.
It seems to bring about a thought yesterday and then again this morning of wondering where consideration and respect have gone. Much like the flowers in the song, have those been picked away and are all gone. Never to bloom again or is it just among a few. It seems the internet has robbed us of those graces. The very things that matter to treat others well. To set the stage for calm and peacefulness.
Respect and consideration for others plays a huge roll in that peacefulness. That calm. Just like in a garden when the flowers bloom. The fragrance wafting
softly through the air wrapping the visitor in a realm of calm. When the flowers are gone however there are just the basics. The stems while still beautiful there is not the emersion of fragrance. The butterflies do not swoop gracefully to touch the flowers. It is different yet not something totally identifiable.
So it is true when there is no consideration or respect. Yesterday, I heard of someone I knew, not well, however knew, passing, transiting to the other side. Maybe being one of the first people he met when he moved to this small village because he was going to buy my old building. Moving to this strange place from lovely upstate New York. It wasn’t like I received a phone call to tell me, rather it was posted on Facebook. Not by his family, by someone else. Someone whom I felt had more sensitivity then to do such. Yet we all fall into that realm of what is quick, what tells the masses. We loose touch that a short phone call to a few is better then the blast on a Facebook page.
I tried to ring the person. No answer, then texted…oh yes that is how it is today. Let’s not talk. Let’s take more time to type into our little devices to avoid the influx of tone of a voice or maybe a few more exchanges then a text will offer. God forbid that we actually have live contact. Unlike the call ringing and ringing, the text was answered. It felt like a wind had swooped in and blown all the flowers away. Or an over zealous child had picked all as the song says, “Young girls pick them, everyone.”
The vision came to me that the flowers all have bits of graces on their beaming faces and one by one, those graces are pick away. Have been picked away. Society is different now. We don’t treat our fellow man well at all. Not even close friends. The internet, cell phones all step in wiping out the flowers that once bloomed. That once made life more enjoyable. More connected. More peaceful.
We have all lost our footing as a result. It is the reason there is so much chaos. So much unrest. We are not a gracious lot any longer. It is nothing for someone to post something important like the passing of a person we know on the internet. Or that someone has a grave decease and so on. The internet blasts it to the masses. It is disrespectful to the one who has passed, it is disrespectful to the ones remaining. Personal contact is so much more important and needed at those times. So much more gracious.
We must take time. We must walk among the flowers, those flowers representing the people in our lives along the path we walk. We must allow those flowers to bloom yet to do so we must treat those with respect and with consideration of the gentle beauty those bring to the world. In reality, it actually takes less time to talk with someone then it does to exchange text, emails.
Somehow, we must return to graciousness because if we don’t we will wonder as the song does, “where have all the flowers gone, long time passing? Where have all the flowers gone, long time ago”. And it will soon be a long time ago that graciousness existed if we do not bring it back now.
It is the very thread that holds society together. That holds friends dear. That will group the flowers together in a bouquet. That will bring peace among us. It is grace we need now. Not tomorrow. Not next week. Not when we are finished with a project. Not when we take time to send a text rather then talking with someone. It is now that we need to add grace to our lives.
By doing so, the garden of a full life will grow and a sense of quiet in our hearts will reign and then, only then can we truly hear the music of life. The flow of the flowers..
“When will they ever learn, when will they eve learn?”
And so it is as the flowers fly…