And people stayed at home
And read books
And they rested
And did exercises
And made art and played
And learned new ways of being
And stopped and listened more deeply
Someone meditated, someone prayed
Someone met their shadow
And people began to think differently
And people healed
And in the absence of people who
Lived in ignorant ways that were
Dangerous, meaningless and heartless,
The earth also began to heal
And when the danger ended and
People found themselves
They grieved for the dead
And made new choices
And dreamed of new visions
And created new ways of living
And completely healed the earth
Just as they were healed.
All of this sounds very familiar because this is our life today, but this anonymous poem was actually written in 1869 during the fourth cholera epidemic of the 19th century. That epidemic lasted from 1863-1875. The first cholera pandemic emerged in India in 1817.
The same poem was reprinted during the 1919 influenza virus (Spanish Flu) pandemic that resulted in 50 million deaths worldwide and approximately 675,000 in the U. S.
It appears history does repeat itself about every 100 years:
1720 Bubonic Plague
1920 Spanish Flu
Let’s hope, this time around, we do create new visions, heal the earth and heal each other.
SHARON CANFIELD DORSEY is an award-winning poet and author of four children’s books; a memoir, Daughter of the Mountains; a book of poetry, Tapestry; and a travel memoir, Road Trip. Her books are available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, High Tide Publications and the author. WATCH FOR THE RELEASE OF A NEW POETRY BOOK IN AUGUST, TITLED, WALK WITH ME.