Global Groundhog Day

Image credits: Green-brown butterfly sitting on a leaf in the Amazon rain forest. Photo by Ulrike Langner.

‘I got you babe’ is the song by Sonny and Cher to which weatherman Phil Connors [played by Bill Murray] wakes up, playing on the clock radio of his motel, on February 2nd, 1993. Watching Groundhog Day, you end up feeling a bit of pity for obnoxious Mr Connors: praying he’ll somehow find a way to unlock the way to move forward with his life: yet no matter how he acts over and over, the next day to which he wakes up is always February 2nd: and you get to understand - with him - that he needs to do some grand act to be able to move on with the rest of his life.

By Hiba Kilany
Like Phil Connors, we are all stuck on the same day, and ‘I got you babe’ is the leitmotif song that keeps looping in my head, a bit out of the ‘mental-distancing practice’ I had imposed onto myself. Yes, also a bit out of irony: wouldn’t it be the best song for Covid-19 to have as a ringtone had it been a person with a personalised mobile ring?

Aren’t we all, every human on this planet, trapped in a global Groundhog Day? How loathsome have we all been to deserve this? Will we ever wake up to February 3rd? What could be the grand act humanity would need to do to overcome this endless, repeated day?

Want a list of ill-doing we humans got along with until we got quarantined: we trophy hunted, we fur farmed, we genetically modified, skinned, hoarded, tested, ate alive, skinned alive. Enough? I am afraid not: we polluted our air into something unbreathable, our water has become undrinkable, we overpopulated our planet, we changed the climate, we melted glaciers...

We’re not only obnoxious but also stupid: all those crimes we consciously or unconsciously committed have a primary victim: nature disappearing species, dis-balanced biodiversity, and now ourselves. That became obvious now.

At the end of last year, 2019, the lungs of planet Earth [the Amazon forests] burnt: a few months later, our lungs were attacked by an insidious disease harvesting more death than in World Wars. When will we ever understand? This planet thrives, we thrive, this planet dies, and we die with it... And here we are today: forced to stop our animal cruelty, our ecological crimes, forced to stop moving, running, competing, forced to stop breathing.

Well, did we not get what we deserved? Finally, the earth is having her vacation, taking some time off from our shit and bullshit. Taking some time off from our disgusting need to consume, show-off, kill, to brag about our travels, our bodies, our belongings, our cars, and our careers: we’re prisoners, and the jailer is us, we’re criminals, and the corpse lying on the floor is ours, we’re dying in thousands -daily- and the disease killing us is man-made they say.

Well, I think that maybe, just like Bill Murray, the only thing that will save us is L.O.V.E, not the cheesy-Turkish-soap-operas-kinda-love, but LOVE the universal kind of emotion that radiates goodness and empathy, that cares not for one singular person, but the type of love Jesus taught us: caring and curing without wanting to be seen, suffering without making a scene, sharing one loaf of bread and one glass of wine for a farewell party, forgiving even the least worthy, touching the repulsive, dying while ignoring, and forgiving while dying.

Knowing that it is not the end but only a transformation of matter and a matter of transformation. Nothing can bring us more to His teachings than the end of this Lent [the Quaresima] and the end of the Quarantine.

The naming of the celebration as “Easter” seems to go back to the name of a pre-Christian goddess in England, Eostre, who was celebrated at the beginning of spring, a season of rebirth, but this time round not the rebirth of the same old earth, but the rebirth of a new-more-aware-kinder us.

Happy Easter!

Hiba Kilany

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2 comments on “Global Groundhog Day”

  1. I hate to be a pessimist, but humans will sooner or later get a vaccine against the coronavirus, and they will go back on doing the same thing over and over, and they will do it triumphantly. We will never wake up to February 3.

    1. I hear you. I kind of fear the same as well. Hoping though that something or someone (S) will change can never harm.

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