When Mother Nature Held Her Breath
She looked upon the citizens of the world
As a tear escaped from her eye.
She had tried desperately to communicate with them,
But they had long forgotten how to listen.
She tried subtly at first,
Sending fierce winter storms to keep them stuck in their homes.
It didn’t work.
They continued to abuse her.
She strengthened her hurricane force winds
To send another warning.
The islanders and the coastal dwellers
Grieved at the devastation,
But the rest of the world ignored them.
As Earth’s temperature continued to rise,
She became angrier.
She screamed at them through her tornadoes,
Leaving a path of destruction in her wake.
Still, those unaffected went on with their lives.
She raged through her fires,
Destroying parts of herself,
Crying for the innocent lives lost,
Hoping and praying that their deaths would not be in vain.
The people continued to neglect her.
The icebergs kept melting,
Breaking away and taking pieces of her heart with them.
But the people didn’t care.
Time was running out.
She had tried to reach out to them,
To warn them,
But she had no more time to waste.
She released the warning that would get their attention,
The virus that would affect them in the only way that mattered to them
And held her breath.
People became sick,
Then began dying.
Fear spread faster and further than the virus at first,
But the virus caught up
And left no one unaffected.
Humans holed up in their homes,
Fearful of becoming the next victim,
And the earth sighed.
The streets became silent,
The beaches basked in the emptiness,
The oceans cleared away the grime,
Animals came out to play
Without fear of being slaughtered.
The skies shed their layers of toxins.
And the people…
Learned to appreciate their loved ones,
Valued the opportunity to hug one another,
Appreciated life and love and community,
Committed themselves to live a healthier life,
And promised to take better care of the planet.
And Mother Nature smiled.
I hope you enjoyed my poem. So often we focus on the horrible things that are happening while forgetting that tragedies can sometimes have a silver lining. I am not minimizing the lives lost. My heart breaks for each and every person suffering and for their families that suffer with them. And I hope and pray we find a way to stop the virus very soon.
Still, I believe we can also use this opportunity to recognize where we have been placing our values. Maybe we need this pause to readjust where we spend our time and to what we give our attention. Maybe we can reignite the closeness with our family. Maybe we can make a commitment to eat more healthily to enhance our immune systems and exercise to strengthen our bodies. And maybe, just maybe, we can finally learn to take better care of our planet and all of its residents.
May you and yours be safe and healthy during these trying times. And may you use this time that we have been given for self-reflection, meditation, and peace. :-)