The grandparents have arrived and ever since the children have been clamoring over them leaving me high and dry. They sometimes look at me and give me fleeting, commiserating hugs as if to assure me that they have not forgotten me, and then fly back like butterflies attracted to nectar filled flowers. The grandparents, are of course, thrilled with this reception. The son thinks goes a step farther in making them both feel equally loved and addresses them together at all times: Grandfather-Grandmother. As in :
“Grandpa-Grandma, see this car!”
“Grandpa-Grandma, I will show you my toys.”
“Grandpa-Grandma, I am going to pee.”
I saw all of this and did what any normal parent would do. I sneaked off for a longish hike with the husband one early Saturday morning leaving the butterflies, nectar etc. with Gpa-Gma. Got to make hay while the sun shines, what? Which seems to be a lot by the way. The hills near our place are dry and make for a brown water-starved eyesore. It usually is this way at this time of the year. Apparently, these hills made for some excellent cow-grazing pastures for the cattle years ago and all the forests were, well, deforested. As far as shortsighted planning goes, I think this is the classiest. For now: there is no cattle grazing up there. It is empty, parched grasslands eh hay lands with walking trails taking an insane amount of foot traffic for those wanting to burn off a few calories before that week-end sumptuous tuck-in after the week-long exercise-less tuck-ins that is. The Earth looks strangely unaccustomed to the onslaughts we continue upon it daily.
There is another thing one has to note in the nature of conv. between the h and self. If there is one word that truly describes it, it is FRAG.<Hey! No pouring water inside the bus!>.MEN.<Do you really want to fill up on chocolates now? Put them away – not on that sofa. Chocolate melts.>.TED. <What were you saying? Sorry, I got distracted>.
So, give us a few minutes in which complete sentences can be exchanged and we are like apes thrown in water. It is a skill lost. I suppose we can talk to other people without shouting out crazy things in between. The point is, after sometime we got our tongues rolling (mostly I got my tongue rolling.) The h. was strangely quiet and nodding. After a particularly longish sermon of about 23 minutes on deforestation and water-conservation etc, I looked at the husband smiling at me. I was pleased with the results of my talk. I asked him what he thought, and he said, “I think it may be because of the headphones I wear. I can’t hear anything. I think my ears are blocked again. I suppose I should get them cleaned. Couldn’t hear much of what you said.”
I suppose that is what most environmentalists must feel like. Or Unaccustomed Ears. Sigh!
P.S. A friend of mine had used the phrase ‘Unaccustomed Earth’ in a rather beautiful status update, and I have been stuck with the phrase in my head ever since.