It’s odd, but my pagan friends aren’t particularly worried about this extreme wet season we are having here in Queensland, Australia. They are certainly not fighting over the last bottle of milk in the supermarket as though the apocalypse was upon us. Seriously, people, not having milk in your coffee is not the end of the world. Yes there are a few supply issues due to the highway being flooded, but get a grip.
And since the general population thinks we are at end times as the christians would put it, why not my pagan friends? I think that part of the answer lies in the fact that if you are what is now called a ‘neo-pagan’, then you are a nature worshipper. That being the case, how can you get upset at nature taking its course? It’s just part of the ongoing cycle. After 30 odd years of drought, a few wet years to balance things up is not unrealistic. And the floods in Brisbane are not without precedent – as close as 1974 there was a similar size flood.
Of course, the politicians are now chewing on the bitterness of their arrogance. You see, after the 1974 flood went through Brisbane, they built the Wivenhoe Dam, which supplies drinking water to the city, but was also supposed to flood proof the city so that 1974 could never happen again. Of course, that was all cow manure because it presupposed that the dam would be mostly empty when we got flooding rains. Of course, we’ve had such good rain over the past couple of years, the dam was close to full. And now it’s overfull, and they have to release water to stop the dam being destroyed (it’s only made of earth at its centre, so if it overtops it will very likely fail). And if the dam fails, then you’ll see a real flood, people – don’t panic, that’s very unlikely!
So arrogance is part of the answer.
But I think that another part of the reason why my pagan friends aren’t worried, is that they pay attention to the natural world around them. That is what the religion is all about after all.
And if you really pay attention, you will see that the natural world is enjoying its best season for decades. There are no plagues, everything is in balance. The birds have more than the usual number of chicks and they are all fat. Everything is growing fast enough that it can out compete its predators. Some things which hate wet feet are suffering, but they have had 30 years of dry times, so too bad.
Native plants have put on record growth and there are plenty of wildflowers and a serious abundance of seeds. There’s an abundance of mice too, and snakes and frogs, all of which have intertwined lives.
And while we feel for the people in Toowoomba and the Lockyer Valley, and our hearts go out to all those who have lost loved ones, we recognise amidst our sadness that this is all part of the cycle. Death is not something to be feared – to be fought against certainly, if you have reason to stay, but not to be feared.
Of course Dorothea Mackellar put it best when she talked about “droughts and flooding rains”. You can find the whole poem here.
Stay safe and dry, my friends.