Forgiving Nature’s Keeper

Mother grew a garden,

it met our every need.

She tended it with care

and gave to us the key.


We skipped and jumped,

Eyes wide with glee.

We gazed with awe

at her beauty.


We gobbled her fruit

and drank from her spring.

We sat by her brook,

though it got boring.


We plucked her branches

leaf by leaf.

We dug up her ground

for more bounty.


Little fingers terrorized

beasts of the earth,

water and skies.


We played.

We stomped.

We pillaged.

We hoarded.

We thoroughly mucked up

the gift from our beloved.


For a short time,

she took the key.

She let the garden grow,

She let the wounds heal.


We wept.

We sat.

We cried, “I want it back”.

She said with a smile,

“Dears, just wait a while.”


Her good voice abated

our fear that life was gone.

She said, “You can have it,

if you learn a New Song”.

About the poem:

A friend told me that she felt like the coronavirus pandemic is a timeout for humanity. That view resonated with me. We have been misbehaving. We have been greedily taking and taking from the earth. As we practice social distancing, the rivers are running clearer and the air is less polluted. We are seeing a decline in the use of fossil fuels like never before. But are we learning our lessons? When the pandemic is over, will we be returning to business-as-usual or re-evaluating our ways of being in the world?

The benefits of a slower, gentler way of living are becoming clearer for many people. Our time together with loved ones seems more precious now as we have been forced apart. The time spent outdoors is more likely to be savored as we are obliged to stay indoors. Nature provides free food to us even when we have little money coming in (provided we can give our energy to gardening and harvesting). Spring has arrived in the Northern hemisphere and with that time comes new life, and perhaps new ways of seeing the world.

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