In my Dad’s Levis pockets, treasures abound; tokens and memories that he carries with him everywhere. There is a stone picked up at some point from the summit of a mountain hike loved throughout his life. This rests beside a coin saved from a trip to Italy where he found a piece of paradise sitting at a table, street side, watching the world go by with other Italians. When he spills his pockets at day’s end, these are just two of the pieces of peace that are revealed. Similar to the stone and the coin, the others carry the marks of time, intermingling, and touch; edges are smooth while letters are faint if not a shadow of themselves. Each piece is a memory for my Dad, something he picked up along the way to remind him of something happy, momentous, or that touched his heart in a way that is singular to him. They are each pieces of peace.
The concept of a piece of peace is not new; though my consciousness of it is recent. Throughout my life, my dad has kept pieces in his pocket. My daughter has a piece of peace she carries with her, largely when we are a part. My Mom can be seen reaching to her pendent, which she always wears, at times throughout the day. For them, there is something grounding or centering in the feel of these objects. They are “pieces of peace.”
Throughout history, people have carried with them something that they can touch; something that touches their hearts in a way that is singular to each. Perhaps it brings a moment of calm, a feeling of not being alone; or even a sense of balance. These pieces can be keepsakes, religious materials; stones or shells; or anything really. I have heard of soldiers carrying something with them into battle or on deployment. Immigrants carry pieces with them from home possibly not only as a memory but as a little piece of grounding or of peace.
Jan brought my attention to these pieces of peace. And now I find myself thinking; considering… do I have something I carry with me that I touch? Is there something I carry with me that is a “piece of peace?”
The short answer… No. On reflection, I am not sure that I ever have. I used to wear rings that I would play with throughout the day, but I no longer wear rings. On the occasion I wear a pendent, it hangs peacefully against my chest without disruption. Travel requires careful selection of jewelry that will remind me of home, but I am not sure that I would consider these pieces a sort of peace as much as they are a reflection of me.
I like the idea of these pieces of peace. The idea of being able to carry something that, when touched, could remind me to breathe. The question is how to find such an item? We are likely drawn to those pieces that resonate or a texture. Babies are naturals at this concept – searching out the warm and fluffy or the slightly silky to rub beneath their fingers or hold close to their cheek.
As I type, this gorgeous November day, I have a few pieces in mind but nothing certain. I know that I like the idea and am drawn to give it a try. Perhaps my piece of peace will appear now that I am aware of the concept?
Do you carry a “piece of peace?”
Have you ever carried such a piece?