My childhood was one big adventure. My friends and I used to spend our time exploring the nature — this was our game. Our empty heads were filled with curiosity, ideas and creativity. Everything we needed for our little research we made by ourselves. We used materials that nature offered us. Nature was our playground and we were its main actors, fearless heroes and eternal winners. We were immortal because we were certain this play will last forever. But one day, everything changed.
It was 1962 and I was only 10 years old. It was a perfect, hot summer day for exploring the underwater world, teeming with crabs, shells, fish, frogs and other animals that were yet to be discovered. We were equipped with bows and arrows to protect ourselves from imaginary cannibals living in the forest. Afraid that they could discover us we crossed the forest quietly, crawling through the high grass, then quickly ran over the cart track and hid in the bushes. Still out of breath, we spread out the map that marked the way to the brook. Then we heard a rumble. Curios, we ran towards the brook. The noise was getting louder. What’s going on? Who dared to break into our world without our knowledge? We reached the clearing. I will never forget what we saw then. The clearing was turning into one huge building site, full of dredgers and trucks that were tearing our winding brook apart and turning it into a plain, straight canal. The noise was unbearable. As we watched speechlessly, the canal was getting filled with concrete basins, one after another. We wanted to approach the building site but they stopped us — we were now banned from entering our playground, from our brook that meant everything to us. I can still hear my friend: »What are we gonna do now?« Disappointed, hopeless and not knowing what to do we went back home quiet and sad.
One full week has passed until we set out on our way to the brook again. As we walked, we stopped several times and listened. There was no noise. With courage, we ran over to the clearing. Amazing! To our surprise, there was no dredger or truck in sight. Full of joy, we ran to the brook. But — it was gone. A straight concrete canal was crossing the clearing and a thick, gray, smelly liquid was running through it. To me, the world stunk. It will be never the same again.
This dirty image has remained in my memory forever. Now, I am thankful for it. It has affected my life permanently. Without this experience, I wouldn’t be who I am today: an advocate of nature’s preservation and clean environment. I don’t drive a car, I take care of the natural environment around the house in a way that benefits animals who share this living space with me: I practice organic gardening, I don’t spray the trees, I mostly use manual gardening tools. I built and furnished my house with my own hands. I also write screenplays about social and environmental problems.
We all want to make this world a better place but there are only few who are ready to take action, let alone those who would be ready to make a sacrifice. It is all a matter of decision, will and perseverance.
That day, I made my decision and never had any regrets. I know that our future generations will appreciate this.
Writing film stories and articles about social and environmental problems, painting and building creative structures.
I also support all civil society organizations for the protection of people, nature, animals and the planet.