“Tell us again, Mum, tell us about the time when we were little and humans gave the world back to the animals. Tell us about how it saved the rivers, and the trees, and the giants of Africa, and the tiny bees in our garden.”
“Well, we didn’t exactly give it back, nature made the first move. A bit a like a game of chess, I suppose. Thankfully we took nature’s side, in the end.”
“How did it start again mum? What made the people sick?”
“And the virus, what was it, again? It began with a ‘C’, didn’t it?”
“Co… Consumerism, dears. Needless, wasteful consumerism.”
“What made the people change?”
“Well, there was once, or twice – maybe three times – when we were all had to stay in our houses. And during that time an entire year passed…”
“Oh, I love this bit!”
“…In that time, we learnt how to get by without unnecessary shopping, or unnecessary car journeys.
“We learnt to look after our neighbours and appreciate that our actions can affect other people – even those that we can’t see in our own streets, or towns or countries.
“We even learnt how to travel by plane less, and some of the coastlines that had been busy and full of tourists and their discarded property became havens for wildlife.
“Even water ways in canal cities became clean and undisturbed – so much so, that new, wild residents moved in.”
“We saw what happened when we let places get “overgrown”, and we made a special effort to pick up old plastic from beaches. We learnt how to love the outside again, because we’d missed it so much. And we learnt how to love people, the world over – because we missed human interaction, too.”
“What about the animals?
“Did we miss them, too?”
“Well my children, we finally learnt how to love them enough to let them go, to let them be free. Sure, we missed them in some ways; but we discovered that if you were respectful, and didn’t disturb them, you could sometimes catch a glimpse of these wild species going about their lives. Much like we do now.”
“And what about the years before that, Mum? When the pandemic happened?”
“Was it, Mum?”
“Do you think it was?”
“I’m not sure, darlings. I can’t be sure at all.”