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  • Stories of Resilience for World Environment Day, a Wednesday in 2019
  • Bare Necessities

Stories of Resilience for World Environment Day, a Wednesday in 2019

Stories of Resilience for World Environment Day, a Wednesday in 2019

You see, it was a Wednesday. Very similar to the previous Wednesday and would be very similar to the next. It was also very similar to the Tuesday and the Thursday that surrounded it on either side like a barrier of days set in time that at once duplicated, mirrored and were themselves as much as they were different creatures individually.


The family of eight walked down the village road. It was made of dirt and that morning mud sat at the sides and in one small oblong hole, from the rain that fell at dawn. That road was the same road that they had walked down on Tuesday and would walk down on Thursday. It was the only road in the village. It led the family of eight to the market. It was the main market in the district, people would travel for miles to sell and buy food on a daily basis. The two young boys in the family waved goodbye to their parents and walked to their morning class. The girls and mother laid out their stall of produce on their regularly used market table while the father returned to the small farm he ran with his brothers. The farm was the main farm in the village. There were trees all around it. There was a clean stream on one edge of the farm. The children would often swim in the cool water. There were birds and animal noises in the forests all around the wet banks.

                                                                                                                   

The family of eight no longer walked down the road. The road was no longer covered in dust. It was no longer made of dirt. It did have a number of oblong holes in though, from the heavy vehicles that weighed too much for the newly laid gravel to handle. The market had grown from an array of tables and chairs to a more permanent affair. There were two buildings in the centre of the market now. They had been built on a small, previously forested area where native birds had been known to chirp loudly each morning when the family of eight walked to the market each day many years before.


The family had been lucky. The father had grown his farm and could keep feeding his family. The two boys had grown up and now helped manage their farm. They had learnt many thoughts and ideas in their classrooms.


The farm now ran across the stream and over all the area where trees had once be en home to a number of small creatures.

                                                                                                                    

 

It was a Wednesday. It was no longer like the Tuesday. Nor would it be like the Thursday. The distribution schedule changed each day. One day the produce would go to two small towns. The next it would go to the big city by the sea. The day after the trucks would drive to the next state. The daughters no longer lived in the area. The father was too old to work. The mother was ill. The two boys had hired employees from outside of the village. The farm was now too large to run on their own.


The village no longer only had one road. The village no longer had an abundance of trees and not that the two boys would ever know while they tended the crops but the area they farmed was not as fertile as their father had once known. This knowledge would only be learnt many years later.


                                                                                                                    

It was a Wednesday. The sun beat down on the head of a grandchild. She had completed university. The first in her family. She had not seen her father for some time but knew what he would be doing at the farm. It was a Wednesday after all and she knew the distribution schedule. In fact, she could catch an autorickshaw to the large supermarket where the produce would arrive later that day if she really wanted. Instead she walked to her home.


The route she took she loved. It was next to the beach. She could feel the wind blowing through her long hair while she peered out at the glistening water. There were always seabirds around. They were always looking for their next meal in the piles that sat for the waste collectors or under items that lay abandoned on the sand. She pulled her shawl over her hair, it was a very hot day and there was very little shade along the route she loved to walk. She placed her left palm on a little bump on her stomach and then let her hand slide down to move methodically by her side for the remainder of the journey home.


                                                                                                                      

The child had only been to the village twice in his life since he had completed his schooling and all visits he had taken were with his mother, whose university certificate hung beside the television, and his two younger siblings. He was going there that day by himself. He collected the tiffin box, the same food container that he used everyday at his job. Many of his colleagues now did not use tiffin boxes like their parents had, but his mother and father had never earnt as much as their parents. In turn, he could not afford to order lunch from the new delivery service that had opened a few years before. He aspired to one day be able to. He did not like the tiffin box any more.


He walked out and caught a bus that ran alongside the beach. There was little sand that could be seen. He never went there. It was always covered by bags and other items that had carried the delivery companies’ lunch packages to his colleagues at the office where he worked.


The journey took six hours. He stepped out into the village that now had large concrete homes throughout the regional capital. If he tried he would not be able to judge which road was the main road his great grandparents walked down every Wednesday to the market. He did know where his family’s farm was. It was the one with the regional factory. The village had grown with the farm. It was now a large regional town, although his family continued to call it a village.


He walked down to the factory that belched out a thick plume of smoke, smiling at the progress that had been made.

                                                                                                                      

The delivery bags were handed to the receptionist. The receptionist carried them to the office. The receptionist handed each bag to each of her colleagues. Everyone now ordered from the delivery company.

                                                                                                                      

The beach could no longer be seen under the delivery bags and other items. The sea glistened still but was often interrupted by floating objects. The sun was sometimes obscured by the haze of a smoke plume from a regional centre’s factory, six hours drive away.

                                                                                                                      

You see, it was a Wednesday. Very similar to the previous Wednesday and would be very similar to the next. It was also very similar to the Tuesday and the Thursday that surrounded it on either side like a barrier of days set in time that at once duplicated, mirrored and were themselves as much as they were different creatures individually.


There were people on the beach near the bins with the large placards stating which material should be placed in each bin. The previous year the daughter of the man who no longer ate from the tiffin box had taken her sister to the beach and started to collect the delivery bags and other discarded items. Now, every day was the same. People came to the beach and ensured that the delivery bags were placed into the correct bin to be collected or took reusable containers back home with them after their visit to the sandy shore. There were newly planted trees there now too that had been planted along the path that had been a university graduates walk home at one point of time.

                                                                                                                      

You see, it was a Wednesday. Very similar to the previous Wednesday and would be very similar to the next. It was also very similar to the Tuesday and the Thursday that surrounded it on either side like a barrier of days set in time that at once duplicated, mirrored and were themselves as much as they were different creatures individually.


There had been a village once. It had one farm. It had one market. It had grown. It was now a regional centre. Two sisters visited a family factory that processed produce from the largest farm in the region. They had visited a stream that was filled with delivery bags and discarded items, nobody swam in it now and no animals could be heard. They had wandered around the farm that no longer yielded the quantities of crops as yesteryear. They spoke about what had happened on the beach and the rest of the city by the sea. They cared for the people in the village and developed a plan, sitting under a single tree next to the factory walls.

                                                                                                                       

You see, it was a Wednesday. Very similar to the previous Wednesday and would be very similar to the next. It was also very similar to the Tuesday and the Thursday that surrounded it on either side like a barrier of days set in time that at once duplicated, mirrored and were themselves as much as they were different creatures individually.


The memory of an eight member family walking along a dirt road with an oblong shaped puddle of water lingered like a fictional story instead of a matter of fact. Certainly not like the beginning of a story about a family that were the foundation of production and revenue for the regional centre.


The memory of the conversation under the single tree beside the factory resounded more resolutely as a factual event. Yet, it was often hard to tell. It had been a key event. In a key village. In a key region. One that was the same as other villages and cities that had had similar movements. Everyone was at once duplicated, mirrored and were themselves as much as they were different creatures individually. They fought their own battles against delivery bags and other adversaries. They found their own solutions.


That farm had a higher yield again. The stream no longer had delivery bags and discarded objects floating in the water or caught on the wet banks. The factory no longer belched smoke.

                                                                                                                       

You see, it was a Wednesday. The child of one of the daughters who spoke under the single tree at the factory was born. The child was born in the city by the sea, in a building with trees all around it. There was a clean river that ran down to the beach along the nature corridor that had been created by the child’s mother with help from the organisation she ran that worked collaboratively with the local municipality and many businesses including the delivery company. There were birds and animal noises all around.


The day was very different than previous Wednesdays and would be different to the next. It was far removed from those Wednesdays in the village generations before. It was even further removed from the Wednesday where they had sat under a single tree next to the factory a few years before. Change happened quickly. Change happened everywhere.


                                                                                                                     

In a regional town that had once been a village there were trees all around. Birds and animals could be heard beside a stream that ran as a protected area through the centre of a large farm. Children swam in it daily after school, both boys and girls, with their laughter mixing in time with chirps of native birds and subtle grunts and clicks from a growing population of animals in the undergrowth. It is a Wednesday.

  • Bare Necessities

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