Rabbit, Rabbit, Rabbit!

Perhaps it will work its charm and later on we will have a month without every weekend with orange alert storms sweeping over our heads. Yes, we have another storm, this time called Jorge because Spanish meteorologists saw him first. Jorge has had lorries in Galway being toppled by his mighty gusts. But this Sunday morning I wake to sunshine, albeit with a huffing and puffing of wind, inflating the polytunnel’s plastic like an artificial lung. If Leap Day had been the March lion, we would have been devoured like a Roman Christian in the arena. He’s just a bit growly this morning, like a dyspeptic lion that has eaten too much gazelle in a hurry. All this stormy weather is unsettling. We have had these gale force winds every weekend since 31st January. Simmer down already! I would like to report something else in the Sunday Weekly. Although last Sunday, though very cold, we had a dry enough interval to go out and plant some bulbs. I hope that peony I put in a container has not drowned.

While rain was the general outlook for the entire week, there were the diversions of Pancake Tuesday and Ash Wednesday, opening the Christian season of Lent. Which leads me to the Lenten subject of ‘what shall I give up?’ that even the fairly undevout consider, if only as an excuse to shed a kilo. The Sunday Weekly is no homage to T. S. Elliot’s Ash Wednesday. And I promise that a rabbit does have a cameo appearance.

What to Give Up
 
Just give up your fear for  Lent this year.
Hold up your hands.
Surrender your terror.
Feel the bands of panic loosen in your chest.
 
I know. I know!
It’s not the best of times.
But just think about all those
forty days without your silent fear.
Better than cutting out the beer
or chocolate, though
 you might think you are
on the path to career suicide
seeing as all these seem to be built
on daily doses of lethal
intimidation.
 
Think of it as answering
the hero’s call in the desert,
braving storms, fighting demons.
Accept no imitations.
No cross would be too hard to bear,
no thorny shard could prick your resolve
to its conscience's very quick.
 
You’d shrug off tax demands,
VAT, NCT, and all those other levies
apocalyptically breaching the banks of some Mississippi.
Nothing would faze your glacial gaze.
You would be as serene as the fat Buddha
sitting in your garden, all smiley
transcendence of suffering’s meaning.
(Which may seem counterintuitive. Or
just be a bit countercultural.)
 
Is fear the fire in the belly?
Or is it what gets us out of bed each morning?
Does it turn us into rabbits made of jelly?
Or acolytes fawning over bullies,
subjugated by every bellow?
 
They say the colour of cowardice is yellow.
Or is it the purple of our bruised pride?
Is it more a slow brown stew?
What do you hide? Is it
your leaden defeat and inaction?
The spilt blood of your rage’s actions?
Have you considered Agent Orange’s
decades’ long legacy?
Have you noticed the seeping
of septic envy? It seems that fear 
can make up a whole rainbow coalition.
 
Can you give up fear for Lent,
maybe just for one year?


Copyright©Bee Smith 2020. All rights reserved.

Featured image Photo by mwangi gatheca on Unsplash

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