Planting Seeds: Spring Equinox 2020

amidst the global coronavirus shutdown

By Maxima Kahn, USA

 I am planting seeds today, this first day
 of Spring, as thunder rolls and the sky
 is grey-blue and hail falls noisily
 with a strange exuberance, bouncing off the old
 snow on the deck.
 I am planting seeds of hope, of love,
 of prayer for a better world. I am planting seeds
 that the Amazon rainforest, the lungs 
 of Earth, re-sprout each tree slashed
 for profit. Seeds that the rivers run
 clear and fish return and spawn. Seeds
 that oceans regurgitate our trash
 and we find enzymes to break it down
 harmlessly. Seeds for a collective awakening
 of humankind into the kind and the human
 parts of that equation. Seeds for social equity, 
 an end to poverty and racism, each child judged
 for character not color, not judged but loved. Seeds for us
 to ban all single-use plastics overnight,
 commit globally to reduce air travel
 by two thirds and driving by a half 
 for good—we’ve seen we can —switch 
 to hydrogen or solar-powered cars. Seeds that all 
 corporations pay their taxes as they should.
 Just as we plant seeds of turnips, carrots,
 potatoes, plain, hardy vegetables
 to see us through lean times, I plant
 these necessary, practical seeds.
 And just as we plant lettuces of six different
 varieties and globes of red and purple
 and yellow tomatoes and spicy red pepper, 
 I plant these seeds of beauty and wild hope.
 Seeds that people are so roused 
 into their hearts and out of fear 
 that they would never close a door
 on a brother or sister. I am planting seeds of thousands
 of bright dahlias, giant sunflowers, red geraniums, purple bells
 of petunias to fill the inner cities.
 Seeds that we all slow down, shop less,
 walk more, gather in groups without 
 electronic devices, turn off our addictive
 screens and hug.
 On this first day of Spring I am planting
 seeds for the beauty and wonder to win
 over the greed and hunger. For art
 to be revered and artists supported.
 For everyone who wants one to have a home.
 For guns and bombs to be melted into 
 useful implements and fantastic sculptures. 
 For fresh air, clear waters, earth 
 honored, and all life cared for
 with tenderness. For justice. For those whose hearts
 are crimped shut to be opened, to weep
 without cease until the hurt runs out and love flows 
 in. For this great hush to awaken
 new possibilities and beautiful old
 possibilities, the ancient stories retold
 by firelight and new poems woven
 from flame, a revolution of heart,
 of wisdom, grace, of art. Seeds that we 
 take to the streets in ragged song
 and ecstatic dance until
 we come home at last
 to the real and true and beautiful
 and share a bowl of wholesome 
 soup, a crust of earthen bread,
 and no one goes hungry and we sleep
 side by side, curled around each other,
 in the light of the fire.
 May this be that Spring. 

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