I had this wonderful opportunity of walking amongst the mangroves in near darkness this evening. With me were little children and their parents, and our guide.
A little girl behind me held her breath in excitement. “I want to come back again to see the fire flies,” she told her mum who was carrying her.
Right in front of us were 2 lone fire flies, dancing in the darkness. What a beautiful sight, made more beautiful with the words and expressed delight of this little girl.
As we made our way down the boardwalk, we saw more of such fire flies dancing away in the distance. One crossed our path, it was so close that we could have reached out and touched it.
In this same walk, we saw other animals. One other animal that caught my eye were the dog-faced water snakes that waited for their prey along the banks of the mangrove streams. There was also a tree-climbing crab that disappeared into a tree hole when we came along. “Be quiet, and keep the torches off”, it seemed to say. “Be invisible if you want to observe the nocturnal world for what it is.”
“This is the last sign of civilisation,” Siva said, referring to the mobile toilet at the end of a lonely road before we headed for the mangroves to do our coastal cleanup.
Several minutes into the cleanup, someone said, “I thought he said it was the last sign of civilisation. I see signs of it everywhere!”
And so, we had 40+ people at the Lim Chu Kang mangroves this morning, and we picked up some 752kg of rubbish within 1hr, not including the bulky stuff (which included chairs, refrigerators, barrels…)
It is indeed a special Sat morning, spent with special people, most of whom are strangers to me. The work is tough, and it is just amazing when individuals come together to help one another. There were magical moments too as we take short breaks to admire the beautiful environment surrounding us.
Coastal cleanup at Lim Chu Kang mangroves. Siva giving us a debrief.
Coastal cleanup at Lim Chu Kang mangroves. The collated rubbish.
The actual International Coastal Cleanup day is 21 September. There will be many coastal cleanup locations then – if you are interested, do check them out here.