‘That is a chapter of ancient history which it might be good to recall; for there was sorrow then too, and gathering dark, but great valour, and great deeds that were not wholly vain.’
-The Fellowship of the Ring
Well done you.
If you are reading this blog, you are still alive, and in the current climate that is no mean achievement.
This is my final entry for 2021. I wish you the joy of the festive season, and hope you all have a good break.
It would be easy to feel not joy but a sense of apprehension today. This is the coldest and darkest day of the year. The Dark seems to be rising. If you watch the television news each night, it seems to be an unremitting diet of bad news. Gruesome child murders. Migrants drowning in the winter seas. Surging Covid and threats of a new Lock Down, to herald in the year 2022.
And yet…and yet…. After today, the days will slowly and incrementally start to grow warmer and lighter, as we start the long march towards spring and the old year dies on the altar of the new.
Covid may be terrible enough but it is a mere shadow of the diseases that have troubled humanity in the distant and more recent past: the Plague of Justinian, the Black Death, the Spanish Flu epidemic after World War One. And there are many things that can be done to hasten its end: it will not have passed notice, that the great vaccination effort of the United Kingdom, has been neatly sidestepped, by a new variant originating in a largely unvaccinated far flung outpost of a connected world.
Until everyone globally is vaccinated, no one will be truly safe. It is worth considering in the New Year, what we as individuals and citizens of the United Kingdom can do, to lobby government or make donations to vaccinate the Third World, for reasons of common humanity and obvious self interest.
There are other challenges: climate change is looming ever larger as an issue, and threatens not only human kind but so many of the plants and animals, who inhabit our fragile earth too. It would be easy to write the possibility of action off, on the basis that whatever we do in the United Kingdom to curb carbon emissions will be meaningless, set against what happens in China and India.
It is always better to light a candle than to curse the darkness. Simple reforestation of our world, one tree at a time could make a great difference: on the wonderful qualities of trees see How trees could save the climate and note that the Woodland Trust is giving them away for free: https://www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/plant-trees/schools-and-communities/
So be of good cheer.
Although it is dark and cold, things are on an upward curve.
This blog shall be back in 2022.