Inspired by her example, I have taken on this "litter clearing" as a daily "practice" when I walk in my suburban neighbourhood, by the lake and in seemingly pristine parks. A few years back while engaging in this practice with my friend Flo, as I struggled to hold 2 handfuls of garbage, I thought I wish I had a bag to put this in and voila there it was under a bush. In this particular place, every time a bag got filled another would appear. I don't remember how many bags we filled, just that there was an infinite supply.
I feel good that I can do this pay it forward practice and yet I'm dismayed that (contrary to the optimism I expressed in my post of Tues Sept 20/11 - THIS ACT WILL SOON BE OBSOLETE) it is necessary at all. My heart is sad. What troubles me as I watch parents playing with their young children in the park is:
- HOW DO WE LOSE REVERENCE FOR NATURE?
- WHEN DOES IT HAPPEN?
- HOW DID WE BECOME SO DISCONNECTED?
- WHAT WILL IT TAKE FOR US TO REALIZE THAT THE WELLBEING OF THE NATURAL WORLD IS ESSENTIAL TO OUR OWN?
I mean I'm witnessing these families being nurtured through interplay with nature. It's not just that we rely on the products of nature to survive. It's far deeper than that. Our mind, emotions and spirit are connected in ways we can't even imagine.
Here are 2 of my latest de-littering experiences.
FACE BOOK ENTRY - FEB 1st
SADLY, no need for a gymn membership. Go for a walk in a park. Wear gloves and pick up the first grocery bag you see and begin to fill it as you walk along. Pick up the next one and so on. My take today in 1 hr - 4 grocery bags FULL, 2 produce bags FULL, one box 1 1/2 feet square and 6" high FULL. I was going to stop when I ran out of bags, but there was no end in sight. At least my thighs and abs are toned and the park is less littered.
FACE BOOK ENTRY - FEB 8th
Today as we walked along the Burlington beach strip, Candy and I gathered up litter once more. With fewer bags on site we piled the objects and compacted them into each other. Our take consisted of far more beer and pop cans, and an endless amount of water and pop bottles made of plastic. Would anyone notice the effects of our efforts? Sadly, probably not; there was so much stuff strewn around that the beach looked untouched.
|©Nance Thacker 1990|
I guess our relationship with nature is like in any long term relationship, we become complacent. We forget that the simple, little crab tree in our front yard is as fantastic as the towering red wood found in the first growth forests of B.C. or that our polluted lake still holds promise of recovery if we'd only remember how precious it is. Fall in child-like love with nature again:
- If you can't stoop down and pick up a few stray bottles or cigarette packs at least don't put them, or anything that doesn't belong there in the first place.
- If you are a parent see if your kid's grade-school or high-school has a park "clean up day". If they do; get with the program. If they don't; start one.
- Don't wait for an official clean up day or event; just do it as an individual.