On Saturday, a group of us turned out at 9AM for a township clean up of our valley. The reason the township does this is that we are in a beautiful area that seems quite remote once you enter, but is close to town. It's a great place to drive through and enjoy the beauty, and it's a great place to come and dump your garbage. Your garbage may just be leaves or a couple stumps, or it could be large cement pylons, old hot tubs, tires, waste oil or couches. Perhaps 25 of us spread out in all directions with pick-up trucks, trailers, and even a tractor to lift some of the heavier stuff. By 1PM we had filled 2 huge truck trailer sized dumpsters. The township supervisor then had everyone over to his house for a cookout with great food.
I enjoyed the food, but I couldn't stop thinking about the garbage that we had not had time to get. There were piles others didn't see, as well as fast food cups, beer cans, liquor bottles, plastic bags, DVD cases--you get the idea. Now my description makes it sound littered with garbage, but with the plants in full leaf and these items being sporadic, it really wasn't that bad--but it bothered me that that stuff was all still out there. So as soon as I had the chance, I went back out to pick up more.
What a great time I had. No hurry. I had a bunch of bags, my pickup and a trailer. I went down the road with the truck, got out and walked the sides picking up stuff. In a mile and a half I filled about 7 bags plus the whole trailer. I told my wife later that I may do this more often--it was so therapeutic. No hurry, clear goals, out in nature, making things more beautiful. Peaceful. People would roar by on the washboard road in a hurry to go who knows where. Normally I would be them. But instead I was just puttering away, doing my part to make the world just a little bit better.
I'm not sure all that went in to making it such a great experience, but I'll think about it sometime. Perhaps I'll have some time the next time I go out to pick up garbage.