The Root of Peace

On a dark misty morning a light came on in the Stone House. Blue Gardenia had opened her eyes to find herself surrounded by a grey cat and two small doggies waiting for morning hugs. It was their morning ritual and Blue was always moved by it. Her family were each present and alive. In this moment what else can I ask for, Blue thought to herself.

The past two years had been filled with health challenges and a focus on survival. Together the family had held together supporting the thin cairn terrier presently laying across her lap having a gentle massage. Seamus and Tessa had been the anchor on a rocky sea, but here they all were now, content to wait their turn to give and receive love.

It was Seamus who asked.

SEAMUS
Mom, what are you thinking about?

MOM
Oh…..love.

TESSA
You mean that emotion that only humans experience?

MAYA
Tess is referring to a study that claims animals do not experience love.

SEAMUS
Guess it’s official then.

TESSA
Not necessarily. How would a human who cannot speak or mentally communicate with us know our emotions?

MOM
Very good point, Tessa. And yet I feel your love every day.

MAYA
Some would say that we are loyal to you because you feed and house us. Is that love?

MOM
Well, there are many humans who live their whole lives with someone for just those reasons and may not experience love.

SEAMUS
And what if it has to do with our breed. I’m a pretty loving guy, except for that new puppy next door who just wants to jump on my head. No love there.

MAYA
I know, I hate puppies, and little girls who want to grab your ears.

SEAMUS
Right? Those little girls who surround me and try to pick me up and put their little clothes on me.

MOM
So then, we find the opposite of love, but do you hate what they do to you or do you hate them? It’s a very big distinction.

TESSA
Humans can know the difference and speak out to stop the abuse. An animal’s recourse is to growl or bite in defense and then we are exterminated for defending ourselves.

MAYA
Wait a minute, I think you’re on to something here Tessadananda, feline guru.

MOM
Yes, I see where you are going. It is the same for humans, we don’t always speak out and we also growl and bite in defense. Unfortunately, we end up killing countless women and children to satisfy the hate we are told we should be feeling.

SEAMUS
Because hate is a state of mind as well as an emotion, and we can change a state of mind. Wow, heavy. Where does hate come from though?

TESSA
It begins with a threat. When animal or human believe that they are being attacked and their survival threatened.

MOM
Yes, by someone different from them, in color, race, gender, ethnicity or ideology. Just look at what happened to us in Vietnam, a senseless, wasteful war that never should have happened.

SEAMUS
It can be anyone though really, even a family member.

MAYA
Oh, gosh, especially a family member.

MOM
The seed of hate is planted and grows into all out war. When enough people have died, particularly our young and impressionable, then hate subsides for awhile, until it can build up again and ravish the masses. Perhaps it is our human way of maintaining population control on a planet gone mad with excess.

TESSA
The weak must be culled from the herd, like deer and black bears hunted in rural suburbia.

SEAMUS
Rather primitive way of preserving life, isn’t it?

MAYA
One day soon robots being created in a laboratory will be intelligent enough to want control and then humans will have a new object for their hate. Then what?

MOM
Then we will fight for survival, again and again.

SEAMUS
The dog chasing his tail, round and round.

TESSA
The scorpion bringing its stinger down upon itself. Self hatred is the poison root.

MOM
But in this moment, in our world we have what, my pretties?

MAYA-TESSA-SEAMUS
Love, mom!

MOM
And love is the root of peace.

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