Dear Earth, I sat up all night for you.On 11th March 2020 by Satya
It was cold. I arrived at midday and rain bucketed down on us, soaking my coat and the cushion I was going to sit on. We rearranged the wet signs and candles, letting people know that we were holding a vigil for you, precious Earth.
My friend Sarah and I joyfully chanted for you as raindrops hit our cheeks: Om Ami Dewa Hri. I met Fazeela and stood in solidarity with lots of Muslim women I didn’t know as they spoke of Kashmir, Gaza, Yemen. Later Yael led her Jewish colleagues, us Buddhists, and Christians, in a lesson about the fast of Esther, and we all sang a Jewish song with great gusto.
The night shift arrived – Joe and Yogaratna. We turned the hourglass and sat silently for half hour after half hour as the sand ran out. Joe rang the bells and we bowed. I drifted off for five minutes, ten, ensconced in my purple plastic mac, with seven layers of clothes just about keeping the chill from my bones. We walked across Westminster bridge to the hospital cafe for hot tea at 3am.
I chanted for you, dear Earth. Hours of chanting and meditating and praying. I offered my tiny voice to the vast sky as the commuters streamed past on Monday morning, thousands of them, most of them not turning to glance at us.
In the afternoon a woman with beautiful wrinkles approached us with tears streaming down her face. She said, ‘I am an XR.’ She gave her gloves to Sarah, whose fingers were freezing. She allowed the gratitude and the grief to pour out of her. She clasped my hands tight and held on and, as I type, the tears come to me again.
It was a small thing, a small thing, to sit up all night for you, darling Earth. Around the globe, people are dying in your name.
It was a privilege to lean against the cold wall that surrounds the government, and watch the trees in the park catch stars in their branches. It was a privilege to beam love out around me, smiling whenever anyone’s eyes settled on me. It was a privilege to hold you in my heart, sweet Earth, as the virus swirls, as the forests burn, as your water becomes bitter with our poisons.
The morning light blushed through the darkness. Another day. We have another shining day.
With so much gratitude, love Satya <3