THE BOMBS HAVE STOPPED IS THERE PEACE! by Celine Leduc
The bombs have stopped. Politicians have negotiated a cease fire but have done nothing for a lasting peace. The nightly sky is quiet the moon shines bright and the northern star can be seen by the nightly travelers. Silence reigns no more sirens, no more rockets no more bombs to disturb my sleep. I cannot sleep my body cannot rest as it expects the sirens to go off, or the rocket or bombs to drop and explode. Finally, sleep comes one eye open, one ear listening to hear those sirens or bombs. A month goes by and finally I can sleep. Something falls, I jump out of bed fearing the worst, as I go to investigate, I realize it is not a bomb but something fell on the floor. Shaking I go back to bed but I cannot sleep. My mind is not at peace. Life goes on tomorrow today we will rebuild our homes, our cities our infrastructure. Men go and rebuild, earn money rebuild our lives. Women help and support the men and care for children. No time to think about events the bombs have stopped but peace has not come.
Months turn into years and still peace has not come. Events have been shoved under the carpet, feelings have been ignored, and at times anger sets in. Why am I so jittery? Why this anger? I did not always feel that way, what happened to me. I scream instead of speaking gently. I curse my neighbor because he is not like me. Many years ago our families were friends, our children would play with each other. We worked and celebrate our holidays. We were family! Why is it no longer so? I want my children to know the joy that once reigned in our village. What to do? Knock on my neighbor’s door, a request “can we talk?” “Yes!” We sit, talk about the past, talk about the war and the bombs, the war neither of us wanted. Emotions run high, pain surfaces, as we remember our dead. As we talk about those who died, we wonder together did he kill my brother, sister, mother, father, child, family or friend? Neither of us can answer that question, we will never know. The reality is that they died because of a bomb, a missile, and or a bullet. We sit looking at each other and realize we have choices to make. Can we rebuild our former friendship or do we remain enemies.
Men and women sit and talk, about the war and justice! No one can pinpoint what started the bombing. Justice was used we want justice, yet it became just ice as hearts froze and blindness set in. The blindness that prevents us from seeing the whole picture. We were blinded by our anger, our pain that became hate. No one remembers the spark that grew into the fires of hell, the war. All we know is the after effects, the death toll, and the casualties of war. It does not matter who lost more people, what matters is that lives were lost. People were maimed, lost an eye, a leg an arm or a hand. We could no longer look in each other’s eye fearing to see pain and/or guilt. We could no longer walk to our friend’s house yet we could limp. No longer were we able to extend our hand in friendship as a piece of shrapnel blew it away. We talked about the devastating consequences of war the loss of life, of limbs, but more importantly the loss of trust and broken friendships.
We open our hearts and our minds, promise one another to work on our friendship. Talk openly about the hell that war is to our children and grandchildren. We will take responsibility for our actions and make our politicians honest and responsible. Instead of justice we talk about fairness and equality to be negotiated with words and concrete actions. We talked, we yelled, we screamed our pain and anger, we sat we talked, we listened and we heard each’s others pain. We empathized and refused to sympathize as neither of us was a victim per say but we were survivors of a war. We sit, drink and eat together a little bit wiser because we fed our spirit, our mind and our body with words and finally we can feel peace in our heart. We are at peace with ourself and the other. The bombs have stopped and we found our way to peaceful coexistence one person at a time, one family at a time one village at a time.