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Because it’s there…

I stepped out the front door at 6:15 a.m. on the dot, bolstered by uber-strong coffee in my ever-present go-cup as per usual. Oh yeah, plus one bag.

I don’t get very far along my 3+ mile route when I ask myself this ever-present question: Why do I do this?

In all honesty, is rhetorical in nature. I know why.

Beyond the physical pleasure of the walk, it’s actually a two part answer. There is the esthetic and the environmental.

Part one is that when I see some piece of junk intruding on the visual enjoyment of my walk (or for others who plod along after me) what apparently goes through my mind is ‘Why is that piece of sh-t there?’

There's a simple answer to why the residue of my daily walk always ends up unceremoniously dumped on my driveway: Because this junk shouldn't have to be picked up in the first place.

There’s a simple answer to why the residue of my daily walk always ends up unceremoniously dumped on my driveway: Because this junk shouldn’t have to be picked up in the first place.

Part two is environmental. We already cause enough ruination to our physical world. My short walk is a microcosm of the larger picture. It is my laboratory where I can experiment in the removal of the trash tumor. Unfortunately, it’s an operation that will never be complete. The patient (my path) suffers the affliction on a daily basis.

A half century ago, someone asked Edmund Hillary why he dared to ascend Mt. Everest. His response: “Because it’s there.”

Sir Edmund’s answer applies all too well to litter: Because it’s there.

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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