Saturday, May 28, 2016

At This Time of Year...

. our Devon hedgerows, 
the campions reign supreme.
And when I get to the top of this lane, there is another beautiful sight to behold. 
The wild orchids have popped up again... they do every year around this time,
despite the rough treatment this ground has seen during the winter, with those big, clumsy agricultural machines that gouge out deep, muddy ruts and hack the hedges around.

Nature is so forgiving, so resilient. Will it always be able to bounce back, just as these orchids do? As climate change bites ever more deeply and the sixth great mass extinction picks up speed, what will survive? Who will survive? In a hundred years, a thousand years, will the orchids still pop up each year? Will the campions still reign supreme in the month of May? How many more years will the hawthorn tree outside the bathroom window of our cottage blossom in glory, like it is doing right now and probably has done every year since the cottage was built in 1733?

Who knows? But right now, in this moment, in the midst of all this beauty, and despite the dark despair that so often tries to overwhelm me, I feel blessed. 

Living in these times can feel schizoid. But as Charles Eisenstein said in a recent essay,

"I am fond of saying that no optimism can be authentic that has not visited the depths of despair. But today I have realized a corollary: no despair is authentic that has not fully let in the joy."

I think he is right. So much so that when I look at these orchids and I start to cry, I realize that it is neither joy nor grief that makes the tears flow. 

It is both.