And Flowers will Grow in Syria

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By Annette Darity Garber

Recorded by author

With blood still wet in the streets
              and guns still held to blinded eyes,
              bent down at mamas, papas, children, 
              anyone with the wrong name, the wrong allegiance, 
              or lacking the impossible papers,
 with bombs still dropping, still buried on the borders,
              still blowing the limbs from bodies of brothers
with hatred still rampant
             and terror still strangling 
             hope from the little ones’ eyes
with a people still on the run, still without a home, 
             still unwanted, forgotten,

how could anyone 
             ever believe – or even hope –  
             that peace will reign again?

Such audacity. 

Would it not be better
             to turn away,
             to numb,
             to build walls, like the nations do, 
at the edges of our hearts, 
             to give way to despair, or defeat, 
             or worse, 
or perhaps to join the resistance,
             fighting violence with violence, 
             a merry-go-round of unending, 

Or…. could Resistance be this:

to hold the outrageous belief 
             that flowers 
             will one day grow 
             where bullets have been planted,

             that sheep 
             will one day graze
             where battlefields now lay,

             that feet 
             will one day dance
             where bodies now lie broken,

that healing streams 
             will one day go
             where rivers of blood now flow,

             that music will play, 
             and children will pray
             and weapons will be traded for books,
             that enemies might yet be called brothers.

That peace will reign, 
              peace will reign, 
                            peace will reign.

And while we hold this vision as an offering, 
              this prayer of imagination,
let us also
             roll up our sleeves,
             dig deep inside our pockets,
             build bridges for the ignorant,
             tell stories of the exiled.

Let us widen our tables
            and invite our refugee neighbors 
            to our fiestas.

Let us visit their wide tables, too,
             kneeling as listeners and learners
             to their stories that must be told.

Let us hold hands.
Let us join the revolution of peace-making.
Let us imagine a new way of being human.

Let us be visionaries,
            daring to believe 
            that love will have the final say.
Let us plant flowers 
            where bullets now lay.

© Annette Garber, 2020

Recorded by Carmen Rumbaut

Annette Darity Garber is a writer, educator, and spiritual companion residing on Lenni Lenape’ land, also known as Berks County, Pennsylvania. Combining her passion for the outdoors, with training in spiritual direction and eco-therapy, Annette seeks to invite others into a sacred and mutually healing relationship with the natural world. Annette grew up with a love for the earth, a curiosity about other cultures, and a passion for justice and compassion for humanity. These themes infuse her writing and give shape to her being and doing in the world.

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