I don’t need to read the news to learn about the effects of climate change. From my window, I regularly watch sea waters bulge and come far out onto the back shore, much beyond the high-water line. Where I used to gather shells as a child, today I see discarded plastic waste spewed by the sea. I see oil deposits in low tide. I look at skies oppressed by heavy smog, and I take a deep breath only to be appalled by what I inhale–the repugnant smell of chemicals.
I hear the voices of scientists who know that humanity is in big trouble, and have been saying it repeatedly since 2004 or about, when they recorded that permafrost in the Arctic has begun to melt. I hear the voices of those who care, and tirelessly keep trying to remind others of why we all need to care. And I hear voices of ignorance, so engrossed in chatter that they believe, without foresight, a pandemic can erase the imprint that we have left on this planet. It makes me sorry to think that this is how we cope with both the climate emergency and the pandemic.
My own voice, where amongst all can it be heard? At first, it sounded like an echo–I was repeating what scientists had to say, then as I started to feel the heat of a speedily warming planet, I started to sound like those who were tirelessly trying to remind others of what’s important and urgent. And then I grew silent, because neither worked to change anything around me. From silence came this short story, a modern-day fable. Through a mix of non-human characters–aquatic, avian, terrestrial, and even celestial, I have tried to focus on the innocence of life, while exploring its diversity. It’s a bittersweet story, accompanied by a long and interesting fact sheet.
Please do read, By the Bay–a short story of seven pages with a fact sheet that’s four pages long. I request you to read it also to your children and share it with children who you may know. Click on the image below to access the story.