Categories
Kindness Odds and Ends

I wish us peace

The tragedy of the Malaysian Airlines flight has moved us to tears, and our hearts go out to those who are left behind, grieving.

I wrote last time about the ordinary act of packing a suitcase. For me a suitcase is a strong metaphor. It represents ordinariness, something we all do when we travel. But far more, it represents hope, that we will finish the journey and use the things we have packed. It represents trust, that the carrier will get us there safely. So, to see the images of the spilt suitcases shows us how that trust, hope and ordinariness were violated.

But I worry about the reaction from leaders around the world. Our world changed dramatically after 9/11, and not for the better. I can feel the world shifting once again. Surely this is now the time to find another way to solve problems.

Ardysz published a thoughtful post just recently titled We’re the people. Go over and have a read. However I would like to take a quote from her blog, because I think her words are so wise.

In the coming weeks when we are listening to the various versions of the Malaysian Airline tragedy, let us all remember to keep cool heads and encourage our leaders to keep cool heads. Those who do these things are the minority, not ‘the people’. There are myriad options, other than war and bombs. Whoever shot that missile and killed 298 people, were desperate rebels, which in no way justifies their actions, and they should be accountable. But let us remember, those who pick up the pieces and rebuild and go on forever, are the people. It is just so, everywhere.

The news footage has shown us images of masked men with guns harassing the investigators at the crash site. But we have also seen the miners come to help search the site. We have seen locals laying flowers in tribute. It shows me that we have more things in common that we have things that divide us.

To leave you with another quote that is resonating with me:

Hate, it has caused a lot of problems in the world, but has not solved one yet.
Maya Angelou

I wish us peace.

Categories
Melbourne Odds and Ends

Women’s Peace Garden, Newmarket Saleyards and the Maribyrnong River

The Women's Peace Garden, (Photo copyright: Anne Lawson 2015)
The Women’s Peace Garden, (Photo copyright: Anne Lawson 2015)

We have had some glorious Autumn weather in Melbourne the last couple of days. I decided my walk would be also be an exploration.Two or three times a week, perhaps even more, I travel down Epsom Road, through Kensington. For a long time I have seen a sign pointing to the Women’s Peace Garden, but have never seen any real indication of where it is. Now a larger sign has been erected on the road. This was the day to find out more.

This is the view that I now see from the car.

The Women's Peace Garden, (Photo copyright: Anne Lawson 2015)
The Women’s Peace Garden, (Photo copyright: Anne Lawson 2015)

So I went through the entrance, under the Morten Bay figs and down the steps,

past the mosaic,

Pass by the mosaic, in the women's movement colours of green, purple and white
The mosaic, in the Women’s Movement colours of green, purple and white

to see the garden spread out below you. It has been designed with the peace symbol and the woman symbol in mind. You can see the peace symbol easily on the grass. The other is more difficult. The bluestone colonnades at the bottom form the cross. Unfortunately I couldn’t get a photo of that.

 

The garden was built in 1986 to commemorate the International Year of Peace. It was designed by a team of women and is now maintained by the community and local schools. The plants were chosen to fit with the colours of the Women’s Movement — green, purple and white — and to symbolise remembrance — the peace rose, rosemary and olive trees.

I sat for a while and did a very poor sketch of the garden. As well I thought about war and peace, soldiers and civilians. Australia has recently celebrated ANZAC Day (Australian and New Zealand Army Corps), our day of remembrance. I have a very ambivalent attitude to ANZAC Day, as so I was grateful to find a place where peace was celebrated and the innocents of war cherished.

This garden has been built on the old Newmarket Saleyards. They were built in the 1850’s and by the twentieth century they were amongst the biggest saleyards and abattoirs in the world. They closed in the 1980’s. When I first lived in the local area I remember hearing the bellowing of the cattle, and if the wind was blowing from the south the smell was not pleasant either.

After they were sold the yards were developed into medium density housing, the first in the area. As I wandered through the other day I was impressed with how the development had been done. There is a lovely tangle of streets, lanes and mews. The houses seem to open to walking lanes and many of the old peppercorns have been kept. The heritage of the area has been remembered with the bluestone paths and post and rail fences. I wandered along the old stock route to the Maribyrnong River. These photos might give you a little feel for the place.

Bluestone paths, post and rail fences, peppercorn trees.(Photo copyright: Anne Lawson)
Bluestone paths, post and rail fences, peppercorn trees.(Photo copyright: Anne Lawson)
The road narrows so that cars have to give way to pedestrians (Photo copyright: Anne Lawson)
The road narrows so that cars have to give way to pedestrians and on-coming cars. (Photo copyright: Anne Lawson)

And finally, some images of the Maribyrnong River from the bridge the cattle used to cross on.

The city from the bridge. The water was so smooth. (Photo copyright: Anne Lawson)
The city from the bridge. The water was so smooth. (Photo copyright: Anne Lawson)
The bridge (Photo copyright: Anne Lawson)
The bridge (Photo copyright: Anne Lawson)

Thank you for joining me on my meander on a beautiful Melbourne day.

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