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.