It is a spring like no other I have lived through in my almost 70 years of life. A virus (COVID-19) is travelling like a poisonous fog into our villages, towns and cities. It seems that unless we are careful and sensible, someone or even many among our family, friends and neighbours could be stricken with a virus which can potentially be deadly. Human beings are on their guard; some, understandably, have been overcome with fear and anxiety. Thoughts of self-preservation are entering the minds of those among us who have lost faith in their spiritual beliefs and are now hoarding items from stores, not caring that others, neighbours included, might be left short. It is the way of a vastly imperfect world.
In the forest, life is unfolding this spring season as it has in all years past. I hear the voices of ravens and crows, calling out to declare a territory as their own. The deer are once again grazing in open fields. The songs of robins, cardinals and red-winged blackbirds fill the woods behind my log house, placing into the passing breeze, a serene calmness and a reinvigorated sense of hope.
From my balcony, I draw in a deep breath to taste the season and refresh my belief that spring represents the opportunity to start over – it is after all the season when my sobriety began. I look into the heart of the forest and see that the pines somehow seem greater to me this spring. They stand like an army of powerful guardians on the distant horizon to which all other trees of the forest send forth their respect and honour. The birch, maple, balsam and all tree beings in this place of unexplainable mystery are aware of what the pines bring to the land in the way of spirit and peaceful tranquility. The trees of the forest know that Creator’s blessings upon them are everlasting.
The snow slowly melts and I walk in it without footwear. My footprints reveal how weak and small I really am on this wondrous planet onto which we make our home. It brings me to a place of profound humility and I question my right to breathe the purity of the wind I feel this day. The touch of human beings upon the land has been so utterly destructive. I feel shame. And I ask, “What will be left for my grandchildren’s grandchildren?”
A good and wise friend of mine once told me, “human beings are ugly but everything else of Creator’s making is beautiful.” It is in the spring that we truly see the spiritual wonders of Creator. The stirring soil holding the roots of the great trees tightly – so that the tree can stand and send oxygen into the wind – is seen by us as old but age has not slowed the land’s vigour and energy. The earth produces what she is directed to by her allies and guides, the moon, fire, waters and the winds.
The springtime of the year reminds us that we, the people living on the planet at this time are duty-bound, through the teachings passed on to us by our ancestors, to do all we can to ensure health and wellness for those things whose absence would spell the end of humankind.
We will overcome the COVID-19 pandemic. Influenza is not what will wipe us out. What can and will kill us is the pollution we heap daily on Mother Earth. When we kill water, we kill ourselves. Each day we would do well to remind ourselves of this fact, maybe then we might finally understand what it means to do what is right, regarding the health of water.