In Sebastopol, peace can be found in more than just Peacetown concerts — it can also be found around town in a select number of peace poles, which sit in front of some homes or downtown, in front of Screamin’ Mimis. A new peace pole was recently installed in front of a house on Florence Avenue.
According to May Peace Prevail International, which founded the Peace Pole Project, the poles are internationally recognized symbols of hope for humanity which are used to promote world peace. Many of them are painted with messages of peace, sometimes in multiple languages, and are placed throughout communities. The newest peace pole in Sebastopol is painted with flowers and reads “Peace on Earth.”
The Florence Avenue peace pole was purchased at a Rotary Club of Sebastopol auction earlier this year by rotarian Jim Passage, and was made by Jim Glomb.
When asked about what draws him to creating peace poles, Glomb likened the pole to an “acupuncture point in the Earth” for peace where, throughout the world, the poles give Earth peaceful energy.
“It’s a reminder and I hope that when people see the peace pole that they think of peace,” Glomb said. “Maybe they’re on their way home from work and when they go home they’re going to be peaceful and nice and loving to their family or the people they meet at the store.”
While Passage bid on the peace pole to help support the Rotary Club’s various charitable endeavors, he also wanted to support the spread of support for world peace.
“I’m a strong believer in peace and world peace is a major area of interest of Rotary International and also of our club — we have a peace committee. I have had a strong belief for many decades that our country, which I love, could be a leader toward world peace rather than being a cause of injury and harm in the world,” Passage said.
The pole in front of Passage’s house was created by Glomb, but was painted by Glomb’s son Nate and made from hand-milled wood by someone who lives on Glomb’s property.
“It’s hard to know what to do in this world that’s going to make a good impact, something that’s going to change something for the better,” Glomb said. “I think about that a lot — what’s the best thing to do — is it to be a protester, is to meditate on my own and be a peaceful person, is it loving thy neighbor?”
He said that he thinks making or displaying a peace pole is another way to help change the world for the better.
When asked what he hopes the impact of the peace pole is for folks passing by Florence Avenue, Passage said that he hopes it makes them think.
“I would hope that the public takes very, very serious interest and thinks very deeply about our national posture on the world stage and about modern world events, and would support a political process to solve political problems or state problems in as peaceful a manner as possible,” he said.