“Each moment is a chance for us to make peace with the world, to make peace possible for the world, to make happiness possible for the world.” ― Thich Nhat Hanh, Teachings on Love

What does a moment of peace look and feel like?

Each September Sunflower Roots & Shoots starts the year with a giant moment of peace shared by 100 or more children and adults. We join Jane Goodall kid’s activist groups worldwide in a celebration of the Roots & Shoots International Day of Peace. It’s a joyful celebration with art, music and a peace parade led by Sunny Love, our homemade Giant Peace Dove puppet. As the children fly her from Veterans Park in Delray Beach over the Intracoastal bridge to the beach and back, we sing songs of peace and chant “Talk, listen, understand. Kids for Peace!” Many smiles and peace signs from business owners, tourists and neighbors are flashed our way.

A giant moment of peace is powerful but even more so are the small, personal, truly tangible peace messages Sunflower Roots & Shoots members create at this event and throughout the year. From handfuls of earthy smelling red clay, small as a thumbprint or as big as a cookie, ‘Peace Seeds” are born! It is always amazing to watch a group of children in the quiet act of pushing and pulling clay into a shape and making a mark on it that reflects their own sense of peace. At least one seed is always taken home as a symbol of peace for the family. Many more seeds are formed with the intention of spreading the message of peace throughout our community. They are hidden by the kids in a location that holds a special meaning. There is lots of excitement imagining the surprise and feeling of peace their seed might evoke in another child. Once found the hope is that the seed is passed on, re-hidden and found over and over again- -spreading moments of peace.

Over the past four years , hundreds of Peace Seeds have been created.

Right now these little messages are waiting to be found all around Boca Raton and Delray Beach. A moment of peace is waiting for you! Perhaps you will find one on a shelf at the library, next to an apple in a grocery store, on playgrounds, at parks and nature centers or on a bench overlooking the ocean.

When you find a seed, take a photo and tell us your stories–either as a comment to this blog post or email us. We love to know when we inspire peace!

Want to learn more about our free Roots & Shoots groups? Call 561 482-3412 or send us an email.

Post by Ellen Stone and Susan Caruso

© Susan Caruso, Ellen Stone and Sunflower Creative Arts, 2011
Photos © Jaime Greenberg, Crystal MacLean and Sunflower Creative Arts 2011