It feels as if the world of man has fallen into a fairy story, as if we are under some magical spell. As in 'Sleeping Beauty', all is suddenly stilled, it feels as if we have stopped for the first time, slowed to an unconscious rhythm. Nature talks now and we listen, glad of the sounds of her creatures and seasons filling up our senses, offering us hope, as Spring blooms around us helped by the busy bees that nearly bump into us as they fly about their important business and we go on our daily socially distanced walk, and the songs of birds burst from the hedges and trees (ah, yes, hedges and trees, remember them? You know, the bits of greenery you may still see that we haven't cut down yet and still provides us with a natural system of purifying the air. The air that we have polluted in the first place, which in itself is weird because it is pretty important to our survival that it is as healthy as possible for us to breath...how perverse are we eh? Oh, and bees, they are natures pollinators and sentinels, but we don't heed their decline as they become ill, cruelly affected by man's poisons, so in the best traditions of black humour we will kill ourselves in the end....and ironically point to our superior knowledge and scientific management of the natural world while doing so. Hang on, am I resorting to sarcasm? Blimey, I must feel desperate. Anyway, I digress, back to the fairy story....)
In 'Sleeping Beauty' an angry witch/fairy/magical creature (I am not sure of the politically correct term when dealing with the fae folk) was to blame for the spell, but in this tale, in our story, it is our fault. No such scapegoat (or bat...) onto which we can conveniently place responsibility for the use and abuse of, our treatment of, nature and animals, and so therefore the consequences. A world made sick by us - quite literally. Will we pay heed now? What will we do now? In our time of social isolation will we reflect upon, think about, another way to see value in everything and everyone around us? Will people make sense of this time and find meaning in our fairytale? Will our fairytale be a story read at night to children eager for the words that explain how man changed his way of thinking? Will there be a moral to our story? A deeper meaning found in our saga of loss and social distancing? Will the fairytale be our offering, be our greatest mark, be what we leave behind to explain the lessons we learned in lockdown - the learning we did about relationships between man and nature...and each other?
Will generations to come be proud of us and what we went on to achieve? Will they ask to hear again and again the story of how man came out of lockdown and questioned everything, accepting no tired lies or trite dogma and well hawked platitudes. How no one wanted the sacrifices to have been in vain, how they didn't want a return to before, they wanted a new dawn - a 'new normal' was indeed beginning. The chance had been hard won, but they had done it. The people had taken up their place on this earth with new energy and commitment, the tide of rhetoric stemmed as humanity demanded its leaders were made of better stuff - that they were held to account and that they were accountable. How the people never again accepted the validity of decisions made to bring down the very structures that had saved them, healed them, cared for them and counted its own among the losses in doing so - our hospitals, our NHS. That they never again accepted the validity of decisions designed to make society poorer by denying access to resources that educated or informed - libraries and schools. How they never again accepted the validity of decisions aimed at tearing our natural world apart, destroying our wildlife, ignoring our historical landscape and places of sanctuary in nature for the human soul to rest and find peace in - building on green land, playgrounds lost to developers, high speed rail links destroying ancient woodlands, nature reserves and wildlife habitats...the destruction of the wildlife itself with badger culls and fox hunting.
How we tackled housing needs and unscrupulous landlords and empty second home owners, put a stop to underpaid jobs and people with millions who could avoid paying tax but gain all the benefits of that countries resources. How we ensured a means of production for farm and factory that respected the needs of man and the environment and increased a home-grown policy. How we forged a society that had fair access to education and health provision and where any privileges came with responsibility; where respect was earned, determined by the positive value placed on deeds that helped a person's fellow man, as self-awareness and self-respect grew. Being the best you could be was not at another's expense, but in their endorsement. How the quality of man was defined by their appreciation for, and protection of, the people around them and the world they lived in.... The quality of mankind was in their treatment of people, animals, nature and their needs. How the people asked questions about hatred, power and greed - never again accepting inequality in any guise, exposing the excuses that were used to hurt or maim as lies whipped up to isolate people, to distance them, to stop them coming together to learn about, accept and celebrate, their differences, as they saw they could respect each other's views and live side by side. There to help and support each other... How this brought new ideas that represented a coming together not a driving apart... They had survived and now they would thrive.
'What prince came to break the spell', the children of the future might ask, aware of Sleeping Beauty and her courtly hero.
'Well children, this spell needed to be fought by the common people, and the politicians and the princes - no one person had the answer … everyone together did...'.
'And they all lived happily ever after because of this...?', the children of the future could chorus questioningly every bedtime.
'Only you know that my child, only you know what they chose to do...'.
Please check out Tomfoolery Facebook post.... where you can see how he captured his similar thoughts, but in a far better way than I.