Today’s International Day of Peace focusses on global solidarity for building a peaceful and sustainable world, but peace begins with each of us.

Yesterday a trainer commented, “the world is chaos”.

How do you find peace in the chaos of life during this difficult patch of time?

I took this picture of a circle of redwood trees near the Sonoma County coast. I find peace in the midst of the trees. When I go to a redwood forest, 20 steps in I start to feel my shoulders relax.  Bringing a picture of trees to mind makes me breathe deep and almost smell and feel the vivid forest air.  My favorite is when the sun streaming through the leaves makes the green glow. But rainy moments in the forest are a close second.

The more I learn about trees the more curious I become.  The Hidden Life of Trees by Peter Wohlleben shares how trees are social beings, interconnected thanks to their strong network. Roots work in collaboration, creating a large network that extends for miles.

This is how I picture the work of Mercy Brown Bag Program.  We now work with 90 different senior service providers.  This collaborative system was built throughout our County over the past 39 years to serve as many of our older neighbors as possible. Additionally we work with Alameda County Community Food Bank partners, and Senior Services Coalition of Alameda County. This allows us to partner with hundreds of organizations to surround the men and women in our community with care.

If you are reading this, you are part of this amazing root system too! We all can join in today’s celebration by spreading compassion, kindness and hope for a more equitable and peaceful world.  May this work, though sometimes chaotic, help to bring peace to your life, to those we serve, and to continuing circles of communities until we have international peace.