While I was growing up our family’s spiritual life was very progressive according to today’s standers. In the 60’s and 70’s, I remember my parents saying, “ How can we bring up our children in such turbulent times.” This has often been a compelling thought that has come up as I raise my daughter. How can I set the best example?
I had a wonderful upbringing with all a young girl could hope for. I never worried about my home or my family. I saw my parents helping everyone in our community whether it was a home cooked meal or sage advice. My father was the man everyone looked up to and relied upon. He was definitely a pillar of his community. People would come to our home and go into his office looking for guidance. They looked so worried going in and so happy relieved after they had spoken to my father on the way out of the meeting. My father effected there lives for the better in just an hour or two! It left an indelible impression that helping others was a very good thing to do.
We also lived a traditional yet unconditional spiritual life. It was a very creative process in its own way. Our community not only prayed together, we also shared all holidays and special occasions.We created a service just for our temple by weaving in the traditional along with the contemporary modern day poetry, music, and creative writing. It was apparent to my family that I was an artist. I was always drawing or painting on something. In our tight-knit community, every contribution was considered a valuable asset from the youngest to the oldest. Even back then my flower art was incorporated as a decorative accent border around some of the poems that were part of the service. We sang the song every weekend and as I grew up this song was one of my dearest memories. I am not saying that we had an impressive choir but as everyone was holding hands that filled up the special space with love.When I was creating the Wildlife Illuminated Mandala entitled, “Peace On Earth,” I thought about the beautiful lyrics to that amazing song we sang every weekend and was inspired to make a tribute.
I found out at the Sawdust Festival that this very special song was not uniquely ours, nor was it to my community’s experience growing up in Denver Colorado. Some so many people came to my booth that summer where this amazing song had affected them in a very similar fashion. Sometimes when they would visit my booth, they would see the Wildlife Illuminated Mandala artwork,”Peace On Earth,” and they would burst out into song. They would also come with stories of how this song effected their lives! It made my experience at the Sawdust Art Festival very memorable! I tear up even thinking about it! What more could I hope for? I saw people actually seeing my artwork and how it made a difference in people’s lives in real time! I loved every minute of the serenade and it brought me right back to that universal experience that brings people together.
“Let There Be Peace on Earth" was written by Jill Jackson-Miller and Sy Miller in 1955. It was initially written for and sung by the International Children's Choir created by Easter Beakly and Arthur Granger of the Granger Dance Academy in Long Beach, California. The song's composers led a number of rehearsals for the children's choir from 1955 to 1957, and the song continues to be the theme for this group of children who represent a host of nations and who sang in Washington, DC at the JW Marriott next to the White House in 2002. On May 17, 2014, the Children’s Choir of New York sang,“Let There Be Peace On Earth,” at the opening ceremony of the September 11 Memorial and Museum. Music and art have the unique magic that can capture hearts and move mountains.
Let There Be Peace On Earth
Let There Be Peace on Earth and let it begin with me. Let There Be Peace on Earth, the peace that was meant to be!
With God as our Father, brothers all are we. Let me walk with my brother in perfect harmony. Let peace begin with me. Let this be the moment now.
With every breath I take, let this be my solemn vow To take each moment, and live each moment, in peace eternally.
Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me
Quote: “Let There Be Peace On Earth, and let it begin with me” written by Jill Jackson Miller and Sy Miller written in 1955. Wildlife Illuminated Mandala “ Peace On Earth with raised gold leaf calligraphy by artist Judith Haron.
-Peace On Earth
Please enjoy this video to the Young Peoples Chorus of New York Choir sings, “Let There Be Peace On Earth,” at the opening of the National September 11 Memorial & Museum opening ceremony in New York City.