you are ill
from how badly
we have treated you.
We have abused the wild,
eaten creatures not meant
to be eaten.
We have polluted your air and waters,
exploited and extracted too much
from all your systems.
You show us what
we refused to heed:
what happens to one
happens to us all.
How is it we humans
only learn the hard way
-when we are personally threatened -
that we are all connected?
Now we are as ill as you.
May we learn to find our way
to balance and restored health,
in our private homes
and, especially, in the
global home we share.
What happens to one,
happens to us all.
The corona virus is, to me, the outer manifestation of climate change and what we have done to Mother Earth. We have abused the wild, eaten creatures not meant to be eaten (I read the virus began with the eating of exotic creatures, bats and snakes from markets in China). Wild and domestic creatures have faces, hearts, emotions - they feel everything we do: love, joy, grief, loss, heartbreak, abandonment, pain, fear, terror. They smile. They cry. They want to live as much as we do.
We have extracted from the earth with no thought of replenishing, of restoring balance. We have made the earth, and ourselves ill. Perhaps the virus is Mother Earth's way of vomiting us out.
How is it that we only care when we are personally threatened? Will we learn from the virus what our ears refused to hear about the earth? That we are all connected, every creature and system?
I wish governments would rally around the climate crisis as they are around the virus - which is a symptom of the climate's poor health.
The virus will stop us in our mad rushing about (after we stand in line for four hours at Costco to buy toilet paper, that is.) Maybe, in stillness and reflection, we can regain some balance ourselves, and take steps to help Mother Earth regain hers - peace, care, concern for all creatures - in our homes, yards and communities, then spreading outward.
In old age, my many losses have taught me to not be anxious - to not cling tightly, to tether myself lightly, because everything is transitory, fleeting. Everything changes. Our only real security lies in our hearts and spirits, and in how we respond to what is happening.
This virus is an illustration of how interconnected we are across the globe.
We are tomorrow's ancestors. We sit on the lip of a world in crisis, at a fork in the road:
fossil fuels, viruses and death
clean energy, hope, renewal and a restoration of natural balance.
Our choices, individually and globally, dictate the outcome. Let us choose well.
for Brendan at earthweal: PANDEMIC