Earth day

It was another normal morning in covid-19 lockdown. My son spent a good part of his morning on a zoom call with his teacher and classmates and continued after, to do his short assignments online. Today is earth day and his assignments included videos on how we can protect our planet. He also drew and colored a picture of planets having a party to celebrate earth and one of him as the stick figure turning on/off a switch to save electricity 🙂

But when he asked me before plunging into this work ” Amma, so what is earth day?” , I only managed a pathetic “Its like earth’s birthday?!” which triggered the picture of the party btw ( eye-roll at myself ).

Google is celebrating the bee, and tells me it’s the 50th anniversary of celebrating life on earth, especially the tiniest beings. I feel a gentle uncomfortable chuckle as I read it. “How about invisible organisms?” I wonder. I shake that thought away as I get drawn into the cutesy animation that google has going on bees, jumping from one flower to another. So life goes on, yes? Or we try! 🙂

I will be lying if I said I am not loving the everyday walks and hikes we have been doing as a family, in the light of nothing else to do; No classes to scurry to. No unwanted shopping trips. No kid birthday parties to crib attending watching my phone for the most part. We actually explored and realized there are hiking trails literally in our backyard (end of the street) that’s so much fun to do with kids. We have gotten better at spotting little animals and birds, checking our bodies for ticks afterwards. Doing a lot more with nature than I ever thought I would, at least in 2020.

It reminded me of short stories of Ruskin Bond, especially one about the panther he encounters on his daily walks in the forest. The book is probably the ‘jungle omnibus’.

( I always pick up a Ruskin Bond at Indian airports. It’s an old habit. My favorite flight read )

Well! he goes on to describe the apathy the panther expresses noticing him for the first time and how the chattering monkeys go into deafening silence. A suspenseful pause on what is going to happen next; and the big cat just walks away disinterested, recognizing him as the frequent jungle walker, may be one of them. Even the reader will heave a sigh of relief at his wonderful writing.

I go back to attending to my slack messages and checklists for the day, closing google page from distracting me further. But something about the panther story tickles my senses. Is that how all this will unfold I wonder? When the Elephant in the room will be a distant memory we will be reading in blogposts like this? For now we are all watching and waiting in our own ways, bated breath and all….