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Peace Garden entrance at Earthaven Ecovillage

A Place Like This… The Peace Garden

By Arjuna da Silva.

Sacred PauseClear creek water is flowing musically in my direction, over the rocks below the bridge, upstream of where I sit. It follows the stream banks toward the confluence, one of several sacred spaces tended here and there by faeries, elves, and the occasional nature worshiper. I place a special rock on the altar and then just chill out on a hot afternoon.

Peace Garden entrance at Earthaven EcovillageWeeks ago, Rainbow and I went to visit the Peace Garden, sat on the bench like I’m doing now, and imagined a “Refresh the Peace Garden” party. That got me eager to welcome Moe and Juanpa back from Argentina and propose a date. Kaitlin, the sacred site steward of the Peace Garden, was all about it. I was excited to think of the kinds of art projects and landscape sculptures that might result in a new gathering among the boulders and the bamboo.

At the last Peace Garden work party that I attended, about a dozen folks spent hours in this shady and slightly hidden retreat space behind the hedges, rerouting overflows, rearranging sit spots, cleaning up fallen branches, stopping to appreciate what a lovely thing it is to make an art project out of a chosen responsibility! Juan Pablo hung the swinging bench I’m sitting on, so that it faces the oncoming flow, facing exactly where the creek rushes through the giant culverts. You have to really sit here to appreciate it!

View of the bridge from the swing at the Earthaven Peace GardenDrinking in, through all my cells, the perfection of this place, it’s actually possible for me to put aside the temptation to dwell on the thoughts and reflections that weave through our intentional lives in this ecovillage. I’m looking forward to another work party here soon, such a graceful way to balance all the mental and emotional efforts our minds and hearts take on to keep this complex boat afloat!

In a place like this, where a wooden bench dangles above a flowing creek, the view and the sound actually soothe the remaining tension of an after-meeting concern. I return to stillness; balance is possible.

Where is your peaceful place? Please share in the comments.

Arjuna da Silva, peace garden, village center


Debbie Lienhart has been an Earthaven Ecovillage member since 2008 and is a Director of Earthaven's School of Integrated Living.

Comments (5)

  • Living in Manhattan, I seek peaceful places in both person-made spaces, and natural outdoor spaces. A tea room, a four table space on the second floor of a residential building, was created by a lovely Siberian woman who gave up her finance career to serve Chinese tea ceremony. As the door swings open, her intention and energy spill into the hallway and passers-by fall into whispers. As I take off my shoes to enter this sacred space, peace begins soaking into me without thought. Healing and deep reflection begin.

  • My sacred place is in the woods near my home. My husband and I were married under “ the rainbow tree”, which had a big arching branch over the path. There’s a bog, meadow, and 100 foot tall oak trees with a gentle path winding through. It’s a place of peace and joy for me

  • I love this invitation! One of Bud and my favorite peaceful places is a pond at the top of Mt. Vision here in our beloved Ca. Point Reyes National Seashore. We climb to the top of the mountain that looks out over the lush estuaries draining into the shimmering ocean. Sweat drenched, we tear off our clothes and jump in to the springfed pond. Ahhh!

  • There is a place in Cave Creek Canyon, Portal, AZ called The Bathtub off the South Forks trail that is very sacred and peaceful to me.The water is delightfully cold, and great for whole body cooling during the summer months.The flow is usually just enough to create that magical gurgle of water flowing into a crystal clear basin surrounded by very large boulders, and rock formations with crags allowing some plants to eek out an existence.A few sycamore trees nearby create a canopy overhead letting in just enough sun to prevent hypothermia after immersion.All the while, little fish nibble on your toes as if they are secretly hoping some part of you is a potential source of food while the blue jays cry out in the trees above; I have also created a small oasis under a mesquite tree in the valley between the Peloncillos and Chiracahua mountain ranges which is regularly visited by javelinas, chipmunks, rabbits, lizards, coyotes, so many different varieties of birds, and a new family of quail.
    I hope to visit Earthaven soon, and eventually see your peaceful places…

  • As an urbanite living city central, early mornings in the community garden by the lake; taking off my shoes to squeeze the lush green grass between my toes, I close my eyes and hear; birds catching breakfast on the lake, large Florida cranesflapping their wings taking off like a 747 jet, mamma ducks quacking with her babies and I say to myself, “Now, I am grounded.”

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