Remember, remember the fifth of November,
Gunpowder, treason and plot.
I see no reason why the gunpowder treason,
Should ever be forgot.Anon
Funny how things go out of fashion and then suddenly they’re right back in. I’ve been cringing at the 90s fashion trends that have been back in. It’s the first time I’ve experienced a fashion a second time around. I’m not a fan. But nevermore has the 5th of November seemed more relevant.
In 1605, a small group of men decided they needed to do something about the tyrant in power. It was all about the religion back then, but there was a real struggle. The country was divided. Half were Catholics who wanted to see a Catholic monarch on the throne, and half were Church of England – who rejected the Pope and wanted to see a monarch who was also the head of the church.
Travel forward in time 415 years. Blowing stuff up is a real terror that we’ve faced time and again. Two of the biggest nations in the Western World are divided: America is tearing itself apart over the election, and the UK has torn itself apart over Brexit. Throw in a pandemic, and we’ve got the world on its knees.
The world over is tearing itself apart, in the same way the UK was divided in 1605. Half the world will do anything to stay safe and the other half are going out partying in crowds. Half the world think Coronavirus is a hoax and masks infringe on human rights and the other half wash their hands, wear their masks and are working out how to change their lives to survive.
Could you imagine how Robert Catesby and Guy Fawkes would react if they could have looked in a crystal ball (or travelled in a TARDIS) and seen the future. What would they have thought? Would they have reconsidered their plot? What would they tell us? Would they be surprised to see the same political splits – tearing nations apart? Or would they be surprised to see that in spite of the tearing up, there are so many wonderful expressions of love?
If we scroll past the headlines, we see little lights of hope exploding through the internet. Captain Sir Tom Moore is pledging to help those alone in lockdown 2.0. Pyjamas are officially replacing office wear. Despite tightening restrictions, you can still book your Zoom call with Father Christmas. In my personal life – I’ve seen friends, family, colleagues and acquaintances move in together, getting engaged and expanding their families. I’ve found online communities where love and acceptance are the first order of business.
Tonight I saw first hand, and have seen so many reports of other witnessing the same thing: there were so many more backyard fireworks displays this year. You know what that tells me? There’s still hope. Those fireworks are literal sparks of the little joy we need to hold on to in this year of darkness. The night ends and the sun rises again, but in the meantime, keep setting off those fireworks. Let yourself, your loved ones, and everyone else know that there’s still hope in the world.
Let’s change the reason why we remember the fifth of November this year. We’ll make it through this. We’re still here. Trump or Biden, extended lockdowns and quarantines, Christmas that doesn’t feel like Christmas, not seeing family or friends in person. We’re still here, and we still hold on to hope that things will get better – just like those involved with the gunpowder plot.
They had hope to see a change in the world. But instead of turning to violence, let’s share the hope and love that we have left, breathe into it and fan the flames. We can’t do it alone.