Tuesday 22 May 2018

Nature Never Hurt, Humans Do

Ocean Plastic
Source: Safety4Sea

One of the highlights of my vacation was always seeing Grandpa in the village. I enjoyed not only visiting the village and meeting my mother’s father but the adventure which started once we left the noise and pollution in the city and veered off into places my inner self resonates with. From the trees, mountains, the natural wind, and the bodies of water we encountered as we got close to the village. Most of all, Grandpa would always tell me that any life outside the beauty and ambience nature provides is incomplete.
He once told me a story of the fight between good and evil. He believes that what nature has given us should not be tampered with. As whatever we decide to alter, comes back to haunt us even if it takes a century. I was still very young and could not understand much but Grandpa could not even be bothered, he conversed with me like he would a man of his age. I always enjoyed our discussions. His words, “Nature Never Hurts”.
I recall my last excursion to one of the zoos in the city. Everyone in class looked forward to the experience and most time during the chit-chats, I was always quiet. One of my classmates had to find out if I was excited about the zoo excursions. I told her I was looking forward to it, but I also gave her a true description of what nature looked like from my arsenal of village experiences. After the tour, as we were preparing to leave, I detached myself from the group to go on a private escapade. I was later found staring at the elephants, lost in thought. When I got back, our head teacher was sweating profusely – they had searched for me for over thirty minutes with no success that she soliloquized I may have been devoured by one of the wild animals. I was reprimanded.
During the vacation, I narrated the zoo experience to Grandpa and he said it was not too good to give someone a heart attack, especially when you visit the zoo. He would then have a good laugh as he kept repeating my head teacher’s words, “Maybe he has been consumed by a wild animal.” He would repeat this sentence and laugh again. I joined in.
I asked him about his fishing experiences in the last few months but he looked at me and chose not to answer. I knew something was wrong. I bided my time and waited for dinner. At the second time of asking, he exerted the same look like he did the first time, but this time he applied elderly wisdom. He told me to remember my table manners as it was wrong to talk while eating.
Three days later, I understood his silence to my question. I had bugged him repeatedly since my arrival to let us go fishing but he always somehow found an excuse to turn me down, continuously mentioning the fact that he is an old man. As if I didn’t know.
Finally, he woke me up one morning and told me to prepare for fishing. Something was still off, he was not as optimistic as he used to be in the past each time we sojourned. After almost an hour letting down our hook and line, we caught something – something big. Grandpa rolled in the line but instead of seeing a big fish as we thought, we caught a net that had almost a hundred plastics all bound together. I did not understand, my mouth was wide open as I turned my gaze to Grandpa and for the first time, I saw tears flowing off Grandpa’s face. He muttered; “Nature Never Hurts, Humans Do.”

Written by Kehinde Disu
Post first appeared on Sustyvibes
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