Even if I can’t see what’s going on, something always is. Walking in the woods a while ago, I could smell change, even though I couldn’t see it. And it didn’t smell good. The metaphor seems relevant in these times.
The beautiful woods I walk in reeked for a while of a dead animal rotting and decomposing somewhere. The stench was nauseating. There was nothing to see and it’s possible it was a badger underground. I avoided walking in those woods for some time.
There have been deaths of all kinds recently. Global systems are collapsing and disintegrating around us. Some may be on life support, but whatever happens moving forward, most people would agree that things aren’t the same anymore. To my nose, there is a rising stench of dead rotting carcass in our beautiful world. Some will cheer certain deaths; others will mourn and try resuscitation techniques of various sorts. All I know for sure is that there’s a smell of putrid decay.
I kept loving my local woods even when I couldn’t walk in them for a while. I knew it wasn’t the woods stinking; it was the dead animal decomposing. I didn’t blame the woods and burn them to get rid of the offensive smell.
What if the same is true of the bloated carcasses of the financial, political and social systems that cannot be sustained in our world? Their decay makes the air feel toxic and unbreathable, but it’s not. The air is the same beautiful air in our ever magical woods. There is nothing wrong with the woods and the sweet air. It may however take a while to be able to walk joyfully and easily again in the places we love.
Let’s take care to protect and treasure our special places through the process of the decomposing bodies of dying systems. Let’s not confuse the two. Patience, love, resilience, and trust; change is a process not an event.