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Transcending your line in the sand…

For the record, I support the Sierra Club, Nature Conservancy and National Wildlife Federation. The trio does admirable work against all odds (i.e. polluters and grubby politicians who shove the environment well down their pecking order of what’s important).

My leap may not be very long, but few things escape my grasp.

My leap may not be very long, but few things escape my grasp.

I am not alone in finding solace in the safety of numbers in these organizations. High volumes of members correspond to a broad reach and help these groups to achieve critical mass and bring voice and clout to what needs to be heard. That is good.

Where the rubber meets the road, however, is the line in the sand each of us has the ability to draw; what can we do as individuals to make a difference or bring a bit more environmental sanity in our little corners of the world? To leap or tiptoe over each of our lines is of no matter. It is that we cross the line that counts.

The national / regional / local environmental organizations are enormously helpful, certainly, but their power ends when each of us come up against a plastic bottle 20 ft. ahead on our path, followed some feet later by a polystyrene cup. At that moment we can decide to do something of our own volition – or take a pass and keep on moving. There’s no calling for someone else’s advice nor can you marshal a legion of environmental ground troops. It is your call and you need to make it quickly – and all too frequently.

None of us crosses the line just once. Yesterday’s line is already erased; we figuratively redraw our own lines – our boundaries? – every day. I obliterate my line every day with a single stride. I can’t jump like I used to but if that’s what it took to overcome this personal, ground-level barrier, I’d take a few steps back and get a running start.

About Dave Bradley (264 Articles)
I was a writer by trade so one would think letters would come easily for me. It is so now, but wasn't always that way. Indeed, the first letter was written the Monday after Ellen started her freshman year in college. For years I've wondered - with no good answers - why I swiveled my office chair toward my computer screen to fire up a word processing document for that first letter. I just don't know. I just did. Perhaps it was the angst of separation or wanting to say things that had gone unsaid at that moment when we parted ways in front of her college dormitory. What was a one-off became habitual. When her brother Reid enrolled in the same college, his name was added to the salutation line. They were kids then and are adults now. No matter. The letter writing habit remains so today. I live in Brevard, North Carolina. I'm well away from where they live and don't see them nearly as often as I'd like. That's why letters, at least to me, fill the void of distance. The pages give me something to say and the space to say it. There is no assurance they read the letters; indeed, I have never asked if they do so. With the pace of their busy lives who could blame them for letting a letter sit unopened? Over time, it has dawned on me that the letters are both communicative - and cathartic. By nature, letters are about the writer; the writer can only write about their situation. Perhaps that is as it should be. It's all about the here and now from one person's perspective.

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