In the heart of a natural cathedral of 200 year-old oak trees, my friend Helen Dahlhauser created a Peace Garden in her backyard.
A St. Petersburg, Florida therapist and writer, Helen has dedicated her life to the celebration of world peace. "That is what resonates within me," she said. "To spread the feelings of peace and love. To get everyone to help each other."
"I read about how plants react to love, and thought it works both ways. I decided to plant a garden filled with plants that had the job of praying for peace and love for the whole world."
Helen's haven has a "zen feel to it" and features symbols of the twelve major religions of the world based on singer James Twymans' prayers for peace. With passionate colors of green, gold, orange, yellow, blue, and more, the Garden has become a place for others to pray, heal, and meditate... "and just enjoy."
Dedicated under the full moon of the 2002 Autumn Equinox, the Garden includes Mexican bamboo and two olive trees. Its evolution is fluid and ever-changing. "My cat Zelda thinks it's her garden," Helen explained. "She welcomes you as if it's her very own place."
On this day in 2002, the feast of All Saints' Day, where we honor all saints in heaven known or unknown, Helen fulfilled a passionate ambition, visiting Assisi, Italy, the birthplace of St. Francis to further learn how to better become "an instrument of peace."
Pray for peace.