Where Are You? 

Where I am, the earth is teeming with life.  The weeds are thick and lush, the dawn chorus deafens me, the lizard population, in spite of our little cat’s best attempts to denude or, at least, to de-tail it, is flourishing. Yellow green veils of pollen swathe the cars and our deck,  and line our ears, nose and throat.  The loquats are done,  jasmine fills the air and the trees are stretching out their limbs, as if waking up from winter.  Yet it seems we are still in winter, cocooned inside, safe from the disease that terrorizes our world.  A dormant grub in a cocoon, I spend some of my time listening to UK radio[1].  It lets me know it’s not so safe where others are.

“Happy” lives in Uganda.  She has fifteen teenagers living with her;  they all returned from boarding school when the virus reached Uganda. Many are orphans she has taken in.  She also takes care of her mother and brother.  Many of the family are HIV positive.  In a spare moment, Happy went over to her neighbor’s house to help deliver her baby since the hospital was no longer a safe place to give birth.

A doctor in the Sudan works in the isolation unit.  He doesn’t have the right equipment.  He hasn’t been paid in a month.

A Chinese teacher is stranded in Poland.  The country is closed so he cannot get back to China to be with his wife.  When life becomes a little more stable they plan to move to the mountains to enjoy a healthier way of life.

The bride’s gown was hidden under her bio-hazard suit.  The couple exchanged hastily twisted tin foil rings in the ICU of a London hospital.  They were married a few hours before the groom died.

We hope we will stay safe and well where we are. We want to be reunited with family and friends.  We want to wonder at the natural beauty of mountains and sea.  We want to be active, useful, and sociable. We are not so good at embracing change, but we are hoping for changes in the new economies of the world that will offer greater equity, restored humanity, and a restored earth. 

Where are you?

[1] BBC Radio 4

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