Sunday, March 22, 2020

The Great Time-Out

As children since time immemorial have learned, if you piss off your mother, you will be sent to your room. Sometimes without your supper. In the old days, you got it that you did something bad and you’re being punished. In more recent times, you have overstepped agreed-upon boundaries and are given a time-out to reflect on your transgression, sometimes with the power to decide when you can emerge from your room, repentant and resolved to do better.

So what if what’s going on here is Mother Nature giving her bad children a time-out in our rooms? We have treated her so badly and she’s finally fed up. “You are grounded!!!And I don’t care if you get bored or run out of toilet paper! Get your act together!”

Of course, she can be stern and unforgiving, but she is also kind. For now she’s saying, “No school, no sports, no dancing in clubs, no jazz concerts. But if you want to go out with your kids and walk in the park (6 feet away from other walkers, of course), hey, finally you have time to smell the flowers. So smell them! Savor them! Think about the bounty and beauty I’ve given you that you have ignored and trashed and desiccated just so you can drive to the mall in fast giant cars using oil that you fight wars for to buy senseless things you don’t really need made by badly-paid and poorly-treated workers. I’ve sent you SO MANY MESSAGES that you’ve continued to ignore, but it took this tiny virus to finally get your attention. And even now, some are missing the memo! Wake up, children!

“And this time, you don’t get to decide when the time-out is over. I’ll take care of it when I’m convinced that you’re ready to be the kind of people I meant for you to be.”

She’s serious, people. Take heed.

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