August 4th, 2014 - one hundred years since Britain's declaration of war against Germany meant that New Zealand was caught up in the "war to end all wars." And what was it good for? Suffering. Setting things up for more conflict in the world, and delivering overwhelming grief and loss - the deaths of so many, and the terrible impact of physical and mental injury on so many people - those who served and those who awaited their return.
One of my grandfathers died of complications of his wartime injuries long before I was born. My other grandfather (see "About"), who survived (Gallipoli, the Somme, Ypres/Paschendaele) was profoundly anti-war when I was growing up and the Vietnam war was in the news.
How foolish we humans are. All this pomp and ceremony from our politicians and armed forces - I'm not sure what they are celebrating. And still people are dying all around the world in so many areas of conflict. Terror, death, injury, suffering. It is so easy to harm, so difficult to heal.
This is a time when I find some peace in contemplating nature.
The gravity and peace of an olive grove - trees planted by Sir John Logan Campbell in Auckland's Cornwall Park, in the 1880's. Black and white treatment for mourning. Olives for peace.
Blessed are the peacemakers.