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Peace ~ John Denver

Spirit of peace

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Snowmass chapel memorial garden

One of my most memorable experiences from my  visist to Aspen in 2002 was the Sunday morning service at the Snowmass Chapel.
 
After the traditional service inside we all went outside for the dedication ceremony for the memorial garden. The highlight of this ceremony for me happened during Mack Bailey's performance of 'Potter's Wheel'.
 
An eagle had been flying overhead for sometime. Then, at the end of the song a flight of doves was released and they soared above us with the eagle still circling above them.
 
It was such a beautiful sight and I was reminded of the columbine, - Why, well the name columbine means 'like a dove' , while the latin name for the flower, aquilega derives from the word for eagle.
 
 
I find it so symblic that this flower should be the state flower of Colorado. The home state of John Denver who so loved eagles and so longed for peace, of which the dove is a symbol. I wonder if he knew. 

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On these Rocky Mountain Columbine you can see how the back petals resemble an eagle's talons

 In Christian tradition the dove is a symbol of the Holy Spirit. I was reminded of this last December 31st., when my husband and I decided to celebrate John's birthday by driving to the Black Moountains in South Wales which are just a few miles away from us. We went up a beautiful, favourite valley of ours and stopped at a place called Llanthony Abbey. There is a little church there that I had never been in before. This time I did go inside and saw a beautiful window depicting a dove representing the holy spirit. I wish I had had my camera but will take it next time. The colours of blue and green and white were so lovely.
 
 Because of its connection to the dove the columbine has been used in religious art also as representing the Holy Spirit.
 
The eagle, too has spiritual connections. I found this on the 'Eagle Spirit' webpage.

The dictionary of scripture and myth, describes the eagle as;

A symbol of the holy spirit, which flies, as it were, through the mind (air) from the higher nature (heaven) to the lower nature (earth) and soars aloft to the self (sun).

I didn't know all of this when I saw an eagle and a flight of doves together in the sky above Snowmass Chapel.

Click on the eagle to go to the 'Eagle Spirit' webpage. It's fascinating.

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Here is one in my garden growing with Colorado wild blue flax

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On these columbine it can be seen how the white petals resemble a dove's fan tail.

Warm as a mountain sunshine,
 on the edge of a snowline,
 in a meadow of columbine.

I am the eagle, I live in high country
In rocky cathedrals that reach to the sky

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Come dance with the west wind and touch on the mountain tops,
Sail o'er the canyons and up to the stars,
And reach for the heavens and hope for the future
And all that we can be not just what we are.