Mother Earth: A poem and thoughts for Mother’s Day UK and Coronavirus

yellow marguerites in sunny south facing real rock garden

Today I wake to a brighter morning. A few days of heavy rain have helped stock up our well. For this we are totally dependent on Mother Nature or Mother Earth. Do we have two mothers or are they one? Nature supports life in our home the Earth. The sun coming out means our solar panels may give enough power to run the washing machine. We need sun and rain and usually we are blessed with both here in the Sierra Aracena, but as many of my long standing readers know, we have had our water levels run low last summer.

Tulips in pots

All the news is overwhelming so we have decided to turn the wifi off until breakfast. We may now be stuck here for months. We are in a good place, almost splendid isolation. We are beginning to feel it is not just risky but irresponsible to try and travel back to the UK. In Spain, everyone is confined to their homes and there are strict measures for only going out for essential activity. To stay at home means taking little risk of getting infected with Covid 19 but it also means helping the health services at a time of overwhelming numbers of patients. The health workers know they can save many who need oxygen if the virus does its worst and attacks too much lung tissue. They need time to prepare, patients may need a long time on ventilators. We are told in the U.K. that choices may need to be made as there are so few intensive care beds to maintain life support.

Spring flowering jasmine, very hardy under drought conditions and green all year.

So we will stay here as choice is also limited by the number of cancelled flights. Our planned return flight this coming week was cancelled and we booked another, which was cancelled. We have a home here, a beautiful woodland home. We are fortunate but we are worried about family and friends. Many are in the vulnerable categories, including our grown up children, for various reasons. But even if we got home the new social distancing means we cannot be with them.

I get up to go out for a few jobs, like digging in our green waste. The morning has become shrouded in half mist and light but the drops of rain on the flowers spur me to take some photos.

Lilac with pearls and house and solar panels in background.

I get a message and some photos through on Whats App from home. It’s a wonderful gallery of photos of me with daughters and granddaughter. The tears flood into my eyes. As I recover, a poem comes to mind as I enjoy the varied flowers I have grown and those that are growing wild.

The wild peonies are out early along the track leading to our finca.








A Mother’s Day poem for Mother Nature

I walk out into the garden which you helped me create,

I fear for the flowers bashed down by the storm,

But the tulip stems stand firm.

Their flowers draped with drops.






The lilac florets fashion freshwater pearls

Even the freesias bent low to the ground

Still perfume the air.






Your hand in this is always there,

With the roses recovered from drought

But the first bud is bitten.

Something needs food,

And for us thought.

We must learn to share

Our creations with yours.






I turn to your wild children

And I am sorry.

The ones we have waged

War with, the weeds, the bees.

And we still destroy forests

Lungs for all,

And wild spaces

Of endless diversity.

We have forgotten

Your wise words

Told by our oldest tribes.


When we were young you gave us

the bison, the buffalo,

the deer, the boar, and more.

Wild grasses became

Our daily bread

Thankful for food.

But we grew too fast,

We pushed you away.

We knew more than you.

The forest trees you gifted us

We used in foolish ways.

Your wild animals we stole

For our own delights.

And now we begin to blame

Each other

And maybe even you


We thought we were kings

To do as we please.

Fly around like the birds

And just enjoy your earth.

Without pause for thought.

We were choking your lungs

You coughed, you spluttered

We ignored your pain.

Your first families we dismissed,

Not as clever as us.

Surely, we were the favourites.

We shoved your wild offspring

Into smaller and smaller spaces,

Reducing their numbers,

Killing the old, sometimes the young.

Felling their forests

Thinking only of our plans,

Our needs, our games.







Now we are confined

To small spaces

Wondering who will survive.

We will promise

To honour

You, our Mother Earth

To care for all your children

Lest we forget

So no one dies in vain.


I had been thinking about the way it was easy to blame this pandemic on the Chinese and the eating of wild animals from the wet market in Wuhan. I cannot condone this but perhaps we need to understand how many cultures have lived closely to wild places and in the past these habits may not have caused such harm as there may have seemed to be plentiful wildlife. Even the nursery rhyme suggests how much we used to eat wild birds ‘ four and twenty blackbirds baked in a pie’.

However, over the last few hundred years our species has removed so much wild forest and habitats for other species from the earth and in doing so has restricted and restricted the movements of wild species, e.g. wolves can roam 100s of miles in a day. We have also contained wild species into more confined habitats as we continue to expand our influence on earth with cities, clearing land, farming, and still logging and mining in some of the remaining forests.

The article I read in the Guardian suggests another way of looking at this pandemic. If wild animals have to live in smaller and smaller spaces it is very likely they will transfer diseases more and across species and if humans continue because of old habits of killing these creatures  it can cause new viruses to which humans may suffer terrible losses.

Will we learn from this or just go back to business as usual? Could we leave the wild forests alone, those that remain, and restore more land back to nature?

Keep well, keep safe and maybe it is time to reflect and share thoughts with others.

“We invade tropical forests and other wild landscapes, which harbour so many species of animals and plants – and within those creatures, so many unknown viruses,” David Quammen, author of Spillover: Animal Infections and the Next Pandemic, recently wrote in the New York Times. “We cut the trees; we kill the animals or cage them and send them to markets. We disrupt ecosystems, and we shake viruses loose from their natural hosts. When that happens, they need a new host. Often, we are it.”


As in Spain ” Stay at Home”  In the UK Protect our health service and all those that work in it from the stress of dealing with vast numbers of patients needing oxygen and many needlessly dieing.