I know I haven’t been writing everyday like I planned. Truth be told, I’m struggling a bit during week 4 of this lockdown/quarantine situation. I may not be someone who is overly active or who spends their days constantly running around doing things but I miss being able to have coffee with a friend or peruse shelves in bookstores. Anyway, in the last few days I’ve come face to face with the unrelenting truth that there is simply no way of knowing how bad this is going to get globally. Australia’s curve may be decreasing, but Europe and North America are still continuing on a dangerous trend and soon it’ll hit the third world, where, sadly, millions will get sick and probably die. It’s hard to make sense of things. It’s hard to fathom why this is happening. Is it so we can take climate change seriously? Is it so we re-evaluate our societies? Is it to force us all to hit pause and step back from our crazy day to day realities? The scariest question I keep coming back to is “is there even a reason or is this all just part of evolution?
In some of the limited time I’ve spent outdoors, I came across a colony of ants in my backyard. Now, I'm not a huge fan of ants. As a child, one of my all time favourite movies was the grossly under-acclaimed Pixar movie 'A Bug's Life' but I've never felt an affinity towards ants. Yet, there they were in a neat line, one by one moving in tandem, seemingly knowing exactly where they were off to next, and I thought how lucky that Covid-19 and global destruction doesn’t scare them. They aren’t locked down or aware of a climate crisis beyond repair. Hell, I started to slightly envy their freedom until I realised something. To the ants, we are giants. We are impossibly huge. We have the power to crush them, their homes, their family. To the ants, we are the gods that govern over them, decide their fate - will they find food, or will they be killed under a shoe. But if we told ants the truth, that we are just bigger but no less scared or any more complicated, I think they’d laugh. Because all living things ultimately struggle with three unbeatable things; Love, death and time. Ants experience all 3. Science says they’re probably aware of at least 2 of those, if not all 3. If the ants knew that we, humans, had the same fear of something greater, something bigger that determines if we live or die, survive or thrive, they’d laugh because then, truly, what separates us but a couple of opposable thumbs and a bit of a height? This metaphor isn’t supposed to work completely, life is too complex to fit into a simple analogy but it does make you think. At least, it makes me think. That maybe we, as the Gods of the Ants, should remember how uncertain all life is and to accept that things are simply beyond our control.
PS: I will be re-watching A Bug's Life now because it is a damn good movie!!