top of page

Pathways to Peace

A residency with earnest peace seekers from the Montessori School of Calgary(

This is my favourite beginning to the creative process! Children are free to express, explore and interpret. The Montessori template of a peaceful character's attributes was our starting point. We talked about why people fight and how frustrating it is when people argue. I introduced a sightless bird. The children were enchanted. Soon we embarked on a journey using their playground as our story map.

I bought inexpensive puzzle pieces to delineate land. The drum beat and the conflict began. The hoops felt like islands of hope.

The story they claimed filled my soul.

A child sat, saddened by the people and their greed. A sightless bird, unwanted in her own kingdom, came to the child's window. They found a map and the pathway to peace began.

We talked about respect and what it really means. So many of the students understood that when you respect someone you listened to them but in our story, no one was listening anymore.

Children built their own signs and replicated the path.

Caring for each other, the two friends wove through the forest following the map once more. The child led the way and the sightless bird followed.

Through the path of caring they found a river and the next part of the map was revealed. Peace meant being fair and responsible. The people had not been fair or responsible but SUDDENLY the bird got caught in a net!

The child needed a new perspective and looked down from the mountain top calling out that the world needed to change.

The sightless bird's family heard the call and realized they had been wrong. The sightless bird WAS important.

Peace meant being trustworthy. Peace meant practicing good citizenship. The people on the land were ready to work together.

I watched the students form the letter "L".

"For LOVE," said one of them sweetly.

"Of course," I said. "The best word of all."

A better world had been built before my eyes and my world had changed. At the end, the children sprinkled peace leaves over their parents (they had collected them for days!) How could I argue with such a beautiful idea?

The students brought us back to the place of joy.

Simple laughter made everything lighter. I left reminding myself that anything is possible in a story.

Much love to the Montessori School of Calgary who provided me with this gift.

bottom of page