Friday 20th March 2020
It is day 4 of my self imposed solitary time in the Derbyshire Peaks and today I saw a very strange sight. I couldn’t quite believe what I was seeing until I got very close. A sheep was lying on her back, waving her legs about in the air. I wondered if she was close to lambing and having given birth 3 times myself, knew her chosen position wasn’t going to ease her delivery, so I climbed the dry stone wall, vaulted the barbed wire and started singing. It may seem like an odd thing to do but I didn’t want to scare her. As I approached she panicked and began kicking furiously and no amount of writhing would make her upright. I grabbed her fleece, hauled her over, she staggered to her feet and ran away as fast as her wobbly legs would carry her.
It feels strange to be away from the world, and I do feel as if I am on another planet, watching the unfolding of a pandemic from a distance. I know I have to come back and part of me wants to return immediately but distance gives a different perspective. On Tuesday I was lost on the moor in the fading light and I was rescued by a shepherd and taken back to my car in his van. In biblical times, if there was a sheep who kept wandering away, the shepherd would damage one of its legs to keep it close and save it from being eaten by a predator. Suffering for the sake of saving. Isn’t is strange that now we have stopped so much human activity, the pollution levels have dropped, people are reaching out to support each other and families are coming together. The Earth is healing. Suddenly we are looking in directions that do not satisfy the cruel task master of consumption and capital growth. All movement is ceasing and life has changed in the blink of an eye. I am not rejoicing in a pandemic and I don’t want anyone to die, but I thought nothing would ever bring to an end the destruction that humans were inflicting on the planet. Here is an invisible life form, stalking us without discriminating between rich and poor, black or white, straight or gay. Like my upside down sheep we are all feeling completely disorientated. My antidote is singing, dancing, drumming and dreaming. If we can’t first imagine a new world, it will never happen. I wish you great peace in the midst of the maelstrom. xxx