In the now still warm air of an approaching English dusk, in middle of the month of April, I can hear the birdsong of a Thrush while I sit, outdoors, near a blossoming Cherry tree.
Nearby, the garden of an Inn – a Tavern, a Pub – is eerily silent because deserted. At this time of year there should be, there was for decades, the laughter, the bustling, the joy, of human beings.
Such human silence is, for me, unprecedented. Making me aware of how transient we as a terran species are on this planet we have named as Earth. Were we all to die – from some future pandemic or other – would Nature, presenced in such life as birds and trees, endure? Possibly. Probably.
Were we as a species to survive some future pandemic or other would we humans as a species learn from such a pathei-mathos and change our Nature-destroying, our unemphatic, ways? Are we capable of learning from such a pandemic as currently affects our human species?
Somehow, I doubt that we in our majority would – or even could – change our ways. Yet – and at least in my experience – there is a minority who would, who could, learn, and an even smaller minority, a pioneering few, who already if only intuitively foresaw such a Nature-born human calamity as now affects us, our societies. Foresaw, and changed their ways of life accordingly.
Perhaps, as I myself intuitively feel – listening as I now do in the burgeoning twilight to the birdsong of a Thrush near a blossoming Cherry tree – those pioneering few are or should be our future. For they are those who, with families or alone, mostly live, often in rural or wilderness areas, “off grid” and thus disconnected from modern means of communication and striving to be self-sufficient in terms of food and other essentials.
For such pioneering few there are no ideologies; no politics; no interfering desire – political or religious – to change what-is into what others passionately believe should-be. Instead, there is only their family or an individual desire to live in a more natural, a more intuitive, way with Nature, with the Cosmos. Only an awareness of how we – as individuals, as a family – are a nexion to Nature, to Earth, to the Cosmos and thus an awareness of how what we do or we do not do affects or can affect Nature, Earth, the Cosmos.
Is this understanding – this intuition – the essence of a modern paganism? Personally I believe that it is.