It started with a trickle of news from China, just as they were celebrating their New Year, heralding the year of the Rat.
The Rat is a creature which has been historically associated with tremendous survival skills, the carrier of fearful diseases but also possessing great trickery & cunning. The Rat is the first of the traditional Chinese Zodiac animals.
Legend has it that the Jade Emperor decided to name the years by the order in which the invited animals arrived to his party.
The clever Rat tricked the Ox into giving him a ride but as they arrived, the Rat jumped down and landed ahead of the Ox, becoming first.
Therefore, traditionally speaking, the Year of the Rat is the first in a new 12 year cycle & the way it began in 2020 was shocking for the whole world, not least the people of China.
We have watched, helpless, as we saw extreme measures inflicted on travellers, then gradually found ourselves equally subject to an extreme change of lifestyle.
We were as slow & plodding as the Chinese Zodiac’s Ox. We had been walking the ruts for so very long that we had barely noticed the weight of the Rat who hitched a lift on our back.
We knew the Rat was there.
We knew that he was using our strength & energy for his own purposes but we had a destination. We thought only of the Emperor’s party & how splendid it would all be. We had no reason to think otherwise. We did not know that the Rat would be capable of weakening our strength & energy by slowly poisoning us and finally, infecting us with the worst disease known to humanity:
THE PLAGUE OF FEAR.
The fear of death infects the strongest of minds & when the enemy is invisible it seems invincible.
Rumours abound, creating an explosion of panic, ripping through the calm like a terrible tornado.
“Stay at home!” we were told & we cowered down, keeping as low a profile as possible. Hoping that the invisible enemy would pass us by….. eventually.
As the months rolled by we began to notice the source of the fear was not invisible. Far from it.
The fear was being transmitted to us quite consistently & it was coming from a hierarchy of supposedly benign places.
It was being enforced upon us!
We were told that we were under house arrest for our own protection. We were cajoled & then ordered to respect a 6 ft space between us. “Six feet apart or six feet under” was the finger-wagging threat-meme on every media channel.
Armies of curtain-twitchers were enrolled to call the authorities if we stepped out of our homes more than once a day.
The whole world seemed to take a sharp shocked breath.
Stories began to circulate of people dying.
But the hospitals were seen to be empty.
Stories begging for attention swore that Aunty Hilda had fallen & later was declared dead in hospital of the invisible disease. Celebrities claimed that they were infected but we never seemed to see any of them looking anything except oddly devoid of heavy make up & maybe a little dishevelled.
Videos of groups of health professionals, messing about with expensive hospital equipment while dancing the conga resulted in another global sharp intake of breath.
Daily updates of dreary meaningless statistics that created more questions than gave answers were trotted out & forced under our noses via every communication network.
A deaf, dumb & blind fool could not miss the signs.
We were being hoaxed.
As soon as the zeitgeist, the spirit of the moment, revealed that the public were not terrorised beyond rational thought and were, in fact, instinctively aware of a deception…. even if their theories were wildly various….. the pressure was turned up a couple of notches.
The food supply chain was being broken. The debts were rising. Businesses were crashing. Jobs were lost.
“If you stay in lockdown you will save lives” the banners screamed, as we all wondered how many lives would be lost if we obeyed.
But obedience was programmed into us from birth & we obeyed because we really did not know what else to do.
Nature knows nothing of this need to obey.
It has its own cycles which can vary enormously.
It luxuriates in a looseness of form & a myriad of expressions.
Nature knows nothing of this need to fear.
We are nature.