My rusty brain cells have been challenged during the Covid epidemic. My nine-year-old grandson stays with me while his father works and he home-schools during the all too frequent lockdown periods.
I was good at maths when I was at school. How many years ago? I’d rather not calculate that!
Multiplication. Long division. I can almost hear the creaking cogs as they struggle to recall the correct methods, and I admit to a couple of sneaky glances at my phone calculator – just to be sure.
Each morning, Jackie joins his teacher and classmates online to discuss any queries they have and get new assignments.
As we ate lunch after the latest meeting, Jackie said his teacher talked about choices and suggested they all write about a choice that could change the world. ‘I don’t know what to write, Grandma.’
No challenge for the rusty brain cells this time; I’d just read an interesting article online.
‘Jadav Payeng planted 1400 acres of forest single-handedly,’ I told Jackie. ‘When he was sixteen he saw snakes dying from excessive heat due to the lack of trees on a sandbar near his home. He decided to plant bamboo seedlings and has continued for more than forty years planting the forest.’
Jackie’s wide eyes indicated his amazement. ‘I wish we could plant a forest,’ he said, ‘but we don’t have anywhere to plant it.’
‘We could plant a couple of trees in the front yard,’ I suggested.
‘But that’s not a forest. It’s just two trees.’
‘Perhaps,’ I said. ‘But if you write a story for your class and tell them about Jadav, perhaps they’ll be inspired. And, if they tell their friends and my friends tell their friends, who knows how many trees could be planted. It would be like a big forest spread out all over and be very good for our environment and the air we breathe.’
‘Can we go to the plant nursery, Grandma?’
‘Not during lockdown but I have some acorns. Enough for lots of seedling trees to share.’
‘Let’s plant them after lunch.’