The Turning of the Year

(2020/21 – in Covid-19 Lockdown)

Plants in frost

The year turns yet the earth stands still.

Fertile, fallow or parched,
the land waits as the stillness settles,
partying paused by the
quiet, insistent, invasive spread of a virus.

What wonder that such a singular organism,
spiked with its own cruel beauty,
can trump the dominion of humankind.

Above the frozen, ice-bound soil,
above earth saturated by flood waters
or scorched by the heat of
a thousand flagrant, unmindful, industries,
arrogance is borne on the seemless air
along with a trillion coronavirus particles
and quietly disposed of.

We come here, Lord,
to this new land of stillness,
and search for what it means to be human.

Alone with our thoughts
and the insidious product of our dominion,
we seek forgiveness for our plundering of this precious world
but cannot turn back time.

The year pivots,
balanced between the plunge to oblivion
and an arising.

More than ever now
we need to fall upwards.*

©  Anne de Gruchy

*With thanks to Richard Rohr for his continual spiritual inspiration!