Dona Nobis Pacem

I joined the peace bloggers in 2012. And every November 4th since then, I have blogged for — and about — peace.

This year’s theme is “Courageous Peace in a Time of Great Change.” I believe in personal peace, in finding peace within ourselves no matter what happens to provoke us into chaos. In fact, I think personal peace is the only peace attainable because it’s the only sort of peace we have any control of. Wanting world peace is a cliché, a coward’s way of putting evading responsibility and putting the onus on others, and those others generally use “peace” as a club to beat the unpeaceful into submission. But taking responsibility for oneself and finding personal peace? That takes courage. Eschewing the outrage so prevalent today? That, too, takes courage. And finding peace in a time of great change? That takes the most courage of all.

I have been folding a senbazuru, which is 1,000 origami cranes, in my effort to find my own peace, a sort of mindfoldness. (As of today, I have folded 992 cranes.) Traditionally, the crane has been a symbol of success and good fortune, and supposedly, if you had the patience and commitment to fold l000 paper cranes, your wish would come true. (It’s no wonder that one of the first books about origami, published in Japan in the late 1700s, was entitled, How to Fold 1000 Cranes.)

In the last century, however, the crane became a symbol of peace because of one girl, Sadako Sasaski, a victim of Hiroshima. Dying of leukemia, she started folding a senbazuru in the hopes of getting well. When she realized she wouldn’t finish the task before she died, she switched her focus to peace. Legend has it that on her deathbed, she held one of her cranes and murmured, “I will write peace on your wings and you will fly all over the world.”

Today is the annual Blog Blast for Peace, a time for finding the courage to write peace on our own wings as we go about our busy lives.

Dona nobis pacem.


Pat Bertram is the author of Grief: The Inside Story – A Guide to Surviving the Loss of a Loved One. “Grief: The Inside Story is perfect and that is not hyperbole! It is exactly what folk who are grieving need to read.” –Leesa Healy, RN, GDAS GDAT, Emotional/Mental Health Therapist & Educator.

5 Responses to “Dona Nobis Pacem”

  1. Mimi Lenox Says:

    I love the story of the cranes. You’re so close to finishing! ! I pray your wish will come true.
    What a meaningful way to practice mindfulness.
    Your peace globe is striking and full of substance. Just beautiful!
    Thank you for all the promoting you do and blogging peace with us.

    Peace to you and yours,

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      I am always glad to do what I can to promote your cause — it’s a good one! I love that one day a year the internet is filled with signs of peace.

      Peace to you today and every day.

  2. Sherry Marr Says:

    I LOVE that you are folding origami cranes! How wonderful! That story has always inspired me.

  3. Uthayanan Says:

    Beautiful way of focusing mind, eyes, fingers and artistic. As a Japanese student I have tried, origami, calligraphy but never continued. In my point of view it is a peaceful meditation even better.
    Bon courage for peace.

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