Gardens aren’t just decorative. They are also meant to create harmony and serenity. They are symbolic more than practical. Think about it: if all you wanted was some pretty color for your home, than all you would need was a can of paint. But a garden means more than that. It reflects a harmony between plants and humans. It means peace.
TJ David and Sylvia Villalobos have been inspiring peace for decades now by planting contemplative rose gardens all across the world and encouraging students to reflect on them. They founded International World Peace Rose Gardens (IWPRG) in 1988, and since then this non-profit organization has raised $1.4 Million and helped to bring thousands of children from all over the world together to celebrate peace and friendship through the planting of beautiful rose gardens and the creation of beautiful works of art.
This Friday (10/30/15) at Southport Elementary School’s World Peace Rose Garden, dozens of messages of peace (poems) by students will be put on display for visitors to admire. Here are two of my favorites:
Love makes our friends a little dearer,
Joy makes our hearts a little lighter,
Faith makes our paths a little clearer,
Hope makes our lives a little brighter,
Peace brings us all a little nearer.
– Adrianah Lozano, Grade 6
Love of the Flower
When the power of love is greater
Than the love of power,
The World will know peace and equality.
Like the flowers all together,
Blooming as we should be.
-Malac Alawad, Grade 8
Such profound writing from such young authors!
All of the poems will be unveiled in conjunction with the Anniversary Celebration of the Martin Luther King National Historic Site in Atlanta. Honoring Dr. King and Mrs. Coretta Scott King’s lifelong dedication to peace, this historic site receives over 700,000 visitors annually.
The World Peace Rose Garden at Southport Elementary School is the 8th of its kind, following in the footsteps of idyllic and inspirational gardens like the Lake-Shrine Gandhi World Peace Rose Garden in California, the Universal Peace with All Creation Garden in Italy, and the Peace through Nonviolence Garden in Atlanta. Here is a walkthrough of one of these breathtaking monuments, the World Peace Rose Garden in Pasadena:
For those able to attend the event at Southport Elementary, the unveiling is scheduled for 1:50PM this Friday. Please sign in at the entrance office to be admitted.