Thursday, April 9, 2020
The swallows returned yesterday, April 8. What a pleasure to see them swooping through the air and to hear their melodious tweets and twitters (the real tweets and twitters).
The virus crisis has revealed much about our immune systems; planetary, societal, and personal. We have weakened the planetary immune system by destroying hundreds of thousands of micro-species which are needed for the preservation of that delicate balance that keeps the Earth’s life flow healthy and robust. We have weakened the societal immune systems by withdrawing support from healthcare, education, social care systems, and systems which provide rest, beauty, art, and music – all necessary for the healthy flow of the human body and soul. And, of course, we have greatly diminished our bodily immune systems by our diet, lack of exercise, drugs, smoking, and a host of diversions and distractions that keep us in a constant fight or flight mode – pushing energy to outer muscles and withholding it from the internal flow of fluid and energy that is the foundation for all health.
It certainly seems time to concentrate on these systems to find out whether or not we can restore balance and health to our world. As the meme that is going around states: Mother Nature has said, “All right! That’s enough! Now you go to your room and stay there and think about it! I’ll tell you when you can come out!” No one likes being sent to their room, but Mother is right – we have a ton of things to think about.
Rebuilding a planetary system is a daunting task, but the Earth wants to be whole again and she has the capability of restoring herself. How do we help? Well, many of the biological and botanical remedies are beyond me and I leave them for those who are called to those fields. I can, though, plant a pollinator garden. I can plant trees. I can feed the fungal systems that connect the trees to each other. I can cease poisoning the ground and the water.
On the societal level I am not called to political intervention, though that will be necessary. I can, though, give my emotional, physical, and financial support to those people and groups who are working with these systems. There are thousands of groups who are working for clean water, reforestation of the deserts, food for the hungry, healthcare for all, music, art, literature – all the basic wonders of human existence. I can do my part in making life beautiful in all of the small ways that we now realize are powerful and necessary even in their smallness.
And my own physical immune system? Well, there I have my true starting point. That is one system that I have great influence upon. And most of the work is in the area of “no-brainer” actions. Gentle exercise, good food in modest amounts, stress reduction, rest, love, connection, gratitude, the basics of cleanliness and hygiene – keeping aware that my internal, out-of-sight, subtle systems are far more important than my external muscles. Those muscles are necessary but only in certain situations. Like a cat – when I move my supple and flexible muscles move quickly and effectively. But most of the time they are soft and at rest. My internal systems do the work of healthy living.
There are certain subjects that I am not able to write about with any kind of equanimity. In many of life’s arenas I can maintain a certain compassionate stance and see the hope and goodness shining through. But I cannot look at this country’s national leadership with any feeling other than intense shame, disappointment, and fear. I see the leaders of other countries responding to crisis with, if not perfect, at least compassionate and intelligent consideration. When forced to watch Donald Trump I want to turn in my passport and renounce my citizenship. How in the world can such stupidity, ignorance, and clueless behavior be condoned? That it is causes me to feel a subterranean flow of fear.
I see many hopeful signs for humanity around the world. Our own state, California, has intelligent leadership. I even see CEOs of major companies speaking out with compassion for their employees and stepping up with practical support and help for them. Creative and compassionate actions are blossoming in thousands of situations. But at the national governmental level in the United States I see only dishonor and shame. I feel the need to disassociate myself from that dishonor and shame and I’m not sure exactly how to do that.