As of today, I shall start to use this blog page for publishing my haikus and notes of explanation. Drop me an email or tweet me if any comment.

Bright, sky-high airplanes

Leave a Cross of dawn steam trails.

Europe’s old symbol.

Walking out for my early morning garden yoga practice, I saw a huge cross in the sky. At that liminal time, I am always looking out for signs from nature / the outside world onto which I can project meaning and this was a pretty big sign. It set me thinking.

A cross is such a powerful symbol. First of all, a symbol of Christianity and what power that holds for millions and millions of people. It gives them that most valuable commodity: Faith. Before the mass of people could write, they would make their mark with a simple X. It's a good and powerful thing this X (and by the way, you know that historically it is much more likely that Jesus was crucified on an X shaped structure than a T shape...).

Christianity is also so strongly associated with Europe. And during the Brexit referendum, there was a not-so-subtle message that the EU would dilute English Christianity by allowing many (Muslim) Turks to come here - a centuries old European fear.

Historically, England, centuries ago, found its own form of Protestantism to separate itself off from the rest of Christian mainland Europe (actually so that our monarch could get divorced and assume greater power - perhaps this is the historic parallel that we should compare Brexit to!!)

So what does my last line in the haiku mean? For many of us in England, it conjures up a sadness that Brexit is separating us from a shared (Christian?) European identity. Of course, it also references the old power of Europe, which was so tied up with Christianity and was abusive through colonialism to so much of the rest of the non-Christian world.

And finally, this question of the old leads us to think of the new and the future and to question whether the airplanes that created the cross are not also symbolic of European power that must be left in the past because of their globally disastrous effect on carbon emissions. This is what I love about haikus - their ability to conjure up so many meanings in just three lines of 5, 7, 5 syllables.