Although springtime has arrived this year just when it always does, no one is there to welcome it. No sigh of relief as winter coats and scarves, boots and gloves are exchanged for shorts and t-shirts. Instead we are all protectively sequestered, staring out our windows and doors with amazement that the seasons, the rhythms of life go on without us.
Some hardy souls venture out for long delicious moments, refusing to accept that they are no longer part of life as they, as we have known it. Spring does not weep for them or for the rest of us who are not so bold and defiant. Spring does not even know that we are absent.
Yet this is not precisely so, as Spring herself feels a certain exuberance that she has not felt in many years. Although she is blessed to be eternally rejuvenated with her delicate buds and new sprouts, her cleansing rains and precious sunshine, she has been feeling old and crotchety for quite a time now. The centuries of abuse of the planet-coal mining, extracting and burning gas and oil, the proliferation of farming animals for meat in huge quantities and deforestation have exhausted her. Not only have all her most precious resources been taken from her, but they have been used against her.
She has developed a chronic cough and a fever. The fever can turn to chills at a moment’s notice and then just as quickly back to an even higher fever. Her vision is often blurred and her feet are swollen. Her own mother, Mother Nature herself, has tried and tried to cure Spring or at least to protect and care for her and has had so little success that she is alternately sorrowful and enraged.
Any mother would be, but this is no ordinary mother. When she weeps the skies open up. Rivers are polluted or they overflow. Fields of crops die at once. When she is angry, volcanoes erupt and hurricanes roar through previously protected areas with a vengeance previously unknown to humankind. When she cannot take a deep and cleansing breath, no one can.
Mother prefers peace to war, serenity to chaos and balance to skew. Few who really know her would oppose her, but there has grown a race of men who believe that they can tame her. They feel themselves more powerful, as they are men and she is only a woman. As they disrespect their own mothers and their own women, they arrogantly set out to conquer her. Over the years, they have been called colonizers, conquistadores, oligarchs and patriarchs, kings and warriors. But they are mere men. In truth, they are murderers, rapists and profiteers.
They have stolen Mother’s riches and taken them for their own. They strut around and exhibit their control over all these resources; they brag and bloviate for all to hear; they hoard and enslave those whom they consider beneath them. When confronted, they simply lie, distract, and gaslight. They feel that they have conquered Nature, conquered Mother herself. They even plan to conquer other planets in this same way, as Mother herself appears depleted and defeated.
But wait one minute. Mother is not yet defeated, even by being repeatedly tortured and raped. She has a few more tricks left up her sleeve. Yes, perhaps this is a Darwinian moment long overdue, but arrived at last. These purveyors of chaos and greed, hatred and dominance continue to venture forth to honor their false gods. They defy science and they laugh at Mother Nature. Surely their leaders know better.
But they do not. They cannot stop hurricanes with airplanes and helicopters, earthquakes with huge zippers or warming of the planet with windmills. Nor can they destroy the ever increasing momentum of the virus known as Corona.
Mother Nature has coughed and the whole world is contaminated. Everyday life is not the same. Perhaps the planet will be rid of all us humans in a short time. More likely it will be rid of those among us who challenge and defy Mother. Perhaps this is her way of sending all us naughty children to our rooms to think about what we have done.
May we emerge wiser and more sensitive, our eyes finally open to the precious and precarious beauty around us. May we someday soon kiss the grass and embrace the trees without fear of contracting a virus. May we learn the lesson that this virus offers us. That is, we can survive only along with Mother and not as opposed to her. If this does not happen, then surely we are all doomed. But if it does happen, perhaps Spring will recover and Summer will not have to weep for us after all.