It is early Spring and the elder trees are daring to emerge with new leaves. Shrubs and hedges are putting out their babies to reach for the newly emerging sun. Songbirds are swooping into the garden, blessing the world with their existence. Life promises to grow, the Winter is ending.
I should be free from frustration, but quite the opposite! The growth of everything else is reminding of my retarded growth and that of those around me.
We should be free to express, to spread our arms far and wide, to let go of troubles and cease counting how much grain is left over Winter. Instead, we have school kids forced to take responsibility for a climate catastrophe they played no part in. The young generation is rising up to make up for the mistakes of the older. It is a burden they have the vigour to bear, yet I cannot help but be saddened by the recent youth climate march and school strike. It is great that they are mobilizing at such a young age, but why should they have to? They are young, life should be theirs to enjoy, property and prosperity should be their promise – not a life time of struggling against corpses which cling on to power.
I have seen the effects of fighting the system and constant swimming against the tide on myself. Of course, in my day, we were outcasts and vagabonds, ridiculed or ignored for our refusal to enter the machine. For the pioneers such action is always going to be harder – the youth should win more acclaim for their actions. Now it is common knowledge how fucked-up it is; we just need the political will to change things. But the toll has been paid by my body and soul. My growth has been retarded for most, if not all of my life.
I wish all the power of Spring to the rising generation. I have no resentment toward them – that would a conservative position of futility. But anger toward the great retarder; the one who blots out the sun and casts shade, the one who withholds compost and plant feed, the one who squeezes us into small pots which he always threatens to take away, the one who rarely bothers to pick up a watering can, the one who poisons the soil and drains our bodies of vigour, the one who picks our fruit when it is time to harvest but couldn’t care less when we are unproductive – my anger for this broken system and its retarding agents is strong. Perhaps it is my only real vigour outside of the arts!
Or perhaps a late bloomer can still grow into something beautiful. My new maxim is ‘depleted but never defeated’. Cut down but never pulled out at the roots. Spring is here and here we go again. We are on the cusp of Brexit madness, a buckling system, upheaval and unrest as the people-who-apparently-actually-matter (white middle class) prepare to suffer what we in the ‘lower orders’ have suffered for a long time. The indignities of privation and constant threat to person and property. Here we go again, I hope I can finally fulfil more of my loving nature this year.
Grow tall and strong, but grow thick thorns to protect yourself always! It is worth the energy to invest in defence, in this world which is full of evil. But even that evil cannot withstand us when we finally link our roots together and our good nature overturns the insanity of this wrong turn in humanity’s shared course.
Then we can grow, even if it is in our Autumn years.