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Because I made a promise …

This was not a morning to get up. My iPhone weather app registered a frosty 30F at 5:20 a.m. But what the hell. Get up, get the coffee started and get out the door.

No doubt there are a lot of descriptions people might tag me with for such seeming early morning nonsense. There are, however, larger considerations. While the cold might rattle my bones it does nothing to cool my resolve. Some time ago I made a promise to my path, to those who walk along it, and to myself. It’s worth bundling up.

That’s not to say some mornings aren’t a sheer test of will. Mornings like this one.

No sooner had I turned left onto Sharon View when what was a large bag of Burger King fast food is now a nasty trail of wrappers, condiments and plastic cups strewn 40 yards up and down the street. Before I’ve gone 100 yards, my bag is half full.

The rest of the way is routine (in an unfortunate way); a large sheet of plastic that looks like it covered a new mattress, more-more-more fast food debris (including chunks of wreckage from a mishap involving cars that took fast food a little too literally in a Burger King parking lot), the predictable beverage cans from late-night revelers and my largest-ever armload of cardboard. Sprinkled in were a few slow jogs onto the streets (including retrieval of a smashed malt liquor can in the intersection of Fairview and Colony Roads) to claim a polystyrene to-go food box and yet more plastic remnants from a wreck. My bag was stretched to the breaking point; for every piece of litter stuffed into it, time and again something else fell out.

I worked my buns off in the cold for this morning's gigantic stash of trash. But a promise is a promise to my path, to the environment, to me, and to you, too.

I worked my buns off in the cold for this morning’s gigantic stash of trash. But a promise is a promise to my path, to the environment, to me, and to you, too.

I don’t ask the Lord for much but today I pled aloud for another plastic bag – “Lord, you’ve got to help a brother out” – to handle the overflow. None was forthcoming. (Our conversations typically are one sided – me to Him – and toward the end of my walk I did give thanks for allowing me to get up yet again to perform such a menial task.)

Bottom line: I was able to keep my promise for another day. My path is cleaner, litter/trash/junk is sorted and corralled in two recycle bins. If the theory holds that one day builds toward another, then today put me in position to repeat my oath tomorrow.

About Dave Bradley (264 Articles)
I'm the one behind two totally unrelated blogs; one on 15 years of writing a weekly letter to my kids (plus other recipients), the other on my localized environmental responsibility. I'm a writer by trade and both endeavors are accepted practice for me. As for the letters, my adult children Ellen and Reid may have seen letters as corny at one point, but it's accepted practice for them, too, to find something in their mailbox other than bills and junk mail. Email and texting don't do a lot for me for a lot of different reasons. Snail mail has its place in the communicative world so as long as they keep selling stamps, I'm buying. As for 'Pick Up Your Path' and the environment, I advocate what citizens can do themselves to take a direct hand in their neighborhood environment. But Pick Up Your Path is also a general environmental blog. It may be largely about litter and trash, but both of those are just one element of the total environmental picture.

1 Comment on Because I made a promise …

  1. What would you do with yourself if other people didn’t leave this mission in life for you?

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