I am not afraid of COVID with its sharp-toothed edges that reach fingers of fear into the hearts of the old and dear, but its ugly stain creeps insidiously into every corner of life no matter how you try to ignore it. The stain is from our fear, the fear that has been fuelled by frantic voices on television news and lurid stories of death marching across the land as though it were inevitable that you would eventually be caught if you didn’t hide – inside. Your house. Your head. A mask.
Is it the killer it is supposed to be? No, it is a cheat and a liar and a coward, seeking out the old and infirm but often even hardy centenarians triumph over it and come thorough unscathed, thank you! It reacts then by menacing random younger populations, keeping its grip of terror fresh in the minds of all.
But I have an antidote. It is called the garden.
Antidote to COVID
When all around is chaos and the world is deeply hurt
Ease your aching heart and plunge your hands deep in the dirt.
Have a chat with insects, watch tiny buds unfurl,
Toss a tasty peanut to an enterprising squirrel.
Add some clean, fresh water to the bath you have for birds,
Coax a curious chipmunk with reassuring words.
Get up close with buzzing bees and flitting butterflies,
And watch a tiny ant heft a load that’s twice its size.
See the clouds slip through the sky, sheltering the sun,
Feel the breeze caress the leaves, tickling one by one.
The aching heart once filled with dread now quickens to the thrum
Of Earth’s warm promise, always filled, of better days to come.
When you are in the garden, you feel life humming around you, absorbing you with its measured beat, a natural, soothing rhythm keeping pace with your heart. Energy flows into your core from somewhere deep in the earth below and lifts you out of space and into another realm where time stops, and wonder starts.
In the garden, you know there is nothing to fear from COVID. It is a fellow traveller looking for life, and that is fair. There are millions of microbes, some probably just as dire, swarming the ground beneath our feet, but none of them we trust, has us marked for attack. Some are viruses that live on plants or other animals. They are part of the natural world. Some say life on earth began with a virus, so why should we fear it? Why should we not try to understand it and learn how to live beside it?
It may be that we need viruses. They will be the answer, scientists believe, to dealing with cancer. We can manipulate the single strand of a virus that is out there seeking a mate into delivering healing messages to cells that have run amok in our bodies. This cancer therapy is close, and we are learning much from making COVID mNRI vaccines that will help researchers in their quest for a cancer remedy, teaching our own bodies to deal with the would-be destroyers inside.
Fear is a necessary trigger to survival, but for it to work best, it should only be an alarm that wakes us out of complacence and into an awareness that nurtures enlightenment.
The garden is where is it easiest to discover our ability to bring threats such as COVID under our power and learn how to turn them into light that will illuminate our lives.
Think of it. We are part of the earth. The earth and all things in it are part of us. What we do and how we do it is natural. It cannot be otherwise. Therefore, we have nothing to fear except lost opportunities to explore and learn and enjoy life every day.
As we have heard, there is nothing to fear but fear itself. Go into the garden and you will learn why.