Bud Bursting Moon
In this bud bursting moon…the surge of life’s juiciness creates the renewal of green which shimmers in its first bornness. It has always been my favored time of year as I walk and spy the tiniest shoots and buds. I watch either their slow swelling or sometimes leap out of the soil. It is a birthing moment. Yet, this moment in time is not only a turn of the seasons. There is something else being birthed.
This virus, ostensibly originating with a bat, forces us to consider the twilight, the nocturnal, the
cavernous depths of ourselves and our societies. There are stirrings in this twilight as we wait. These stirrings, arriving through dreams, meditation and deep reflection, can lead us to the consciousness needed for a new way of being, that is wanting to be birthed.
For one hundred years now, scholars suggest we are going through a Reality Revolution based on the findings of New Science converging with other disciplines such as biology and ecology. Our ideas of what comprises the universe and how the Earth functions is changing. Many scholars are working to relink our knowledge across disciplines, transdisciplinarity, to correct the sundering of human knowledge into so many silos and fragments of specialization. Fragmentation has robbed us of the wisdom we need to face the issues that modern society has created. It is clear much has also been suppressed in modernity, requiring a significant time of reorientation and rebalancing.
The COVID-19 pandemic—with uncertainty, invisibility, and an unprecedented complete shutdown as a global response—has made many realities evident. The hoarding was not random. Underneath our daily rat race, we know there are vulnerabilities in our food, health, energy and economic systems. After toilet paper has been furious seed buying, as people intend to grow their own food. Our system
has existed on the knife’s edge for too long already. Even after the oil crisis in the 70s, neoliberal economic forces asserted themselves in pursuit of economic efficiencies, continuing to render areas that were self-sufficient dependent on global trade. Indeed, this has been the goal of economic globalization for the last 50 years, all nations exporting what they do best on a large scale and importing according to their needs.
The vulnerabilities are clear…this flow of trade can easily be stopped for any number of reasons, legal, peaceful or not. Not only borders, but money separates us from our basic needs. Most people live off wages and salaries…we no longer grow, harvest, gather or make what we need. In fact, we have lost most of the skills for meeting our own needs. As a largely urban species now, we are separated from land and sustenance. Not only growing food, but forests where we used to forage foodstuffs, medicines as well as seek solace and restoration have been cleared for subdivisions. Humans have taken over so many ecosystems. The animals, fish and plants that provided for human needs are now shrinking. It seems to be a historic tendency of humans to outstrip their homes, but now we are doing it on a global basis, with no where else to move.
All of this in the upkeep of a life “style” that does not honour basic relations that keep us alive. Now, a “plague” is hunting us. It is one sign of how out of balance we are with the Earth. Ironically, the virus has shutdown things that activists could not.
We do not suffer alone
The wilderness rejects no one and nothing. Linda Spaner Dayan Frimer
The virus has shown us some truths that we have ignored. We believe that as individuals we are autonomous and self-reliant. No forest is comprised of autonomous loners; a forest is a community. And we have remembered that we are too, as new buds of community. We stay connected virtually through music, funny memes and cartoons, pot banging in thanks, banners hung on houses, errands for each other, neighbourly sharing of household amenities, and burning evening candles for the spirit journeys of who have died. We encourage each other - “together will we make it through this”. The voluntarism has soared: making masks, cooking meals, shopping for groceries, reworking production to meet needs, and donating assistance all free of charge. There is an honesty and clarity that has emerged as we relearn how community relations work. While many things may start to return to “normal”, we have had a taste of a different kind of pace and the beauty of connectedness. We understand how dear our loved ones are even in constant confines, and what we need to attend to as priorities.
There has been much pain though: health care staff put their own lives on the line; essential workers ensure the basics for the rest of us, again risking their health. There has been heartrending death…of elders, those with medical conditions, health care workers, those confined in homes with violence, or in prisons, and the homeless consigned to even more degradation. We must honour those we are losing and work hard to remedy these gaps in a caring society.
In birthing moments, there is pain…and there will be many faces of this pain over the coming years. So, as Earth Day turns 50, we are finally on the cusp of significant change - which we can either resist to preserve ‘what is’ or birth this moment into meaningful change.
This April and early May, talk a walk through a wild forest or wilderness. Walk slowly, meditatively. See it anew. Examine what beings exist there, as a community. Can you explore what they do for each other? What exists at different forest levels and in different locations? Have a sit for half an hour. This gives time for the forest beings to adjust to your presence and for their presence to touch you. What life emerges as you quieten? Can you feel the spirit of this place? What messages might you receive that can teach us? Ask. Listen. You will hear what needs to be heard. Leave a small token of appreciation.