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The intent of a good samaritan …

The prevailing view would seem that my purpose in life is to cruise the streets looking for stuff to pick up.

That would only be partly right.

Actually, the first priority is the walk. I like the physicality of the stroll, the pace, the going, the birds, the quiet solitude. The litter fetish came late to the party but is now part and parcel of the daily constitutional. Call it dual enjoyment.

This morning’s walk commenced promptly at 6 a.m.. A weather app on my iPhone registered a crisp, but windless, 30F. The jaunt would be longer than normal by about 700 yards since yesterday I spied half a dozen black plastic garden pots smashed further up on Colony Road. So I detoured per the plan, retrieved the pots (along with a few other discards) and scurried back to my normal route.

There were a couple of never-seen-before prizes. One was a doorknob set encased in bubble wrap. There was a dent suffered in the fall from whatever it fell from. I’ll give it to someone. The second was a complete misinterpretation on my part.

On an island at the corner of Sharon and Fairview Roads where men stand with cardboard signs asking for alms was a paper bag filled with something and alongside it were two unopened soda cans. I silently accused the less fortunate guys who stand there silently in their quest for help. My assumption was they were the perps. Since there was oncoming traffic, I didn’t automatically stuff any of this in either of my two bags but dodged the cars to safely reach the side walk.

I ruined the good samaritan's holiday surprise but I'll try to recapture their intent with a replacement bag.

I ruined the good samaritan’s holiday surprise but later today I’ll try to recapture their intent with a replacement bag.

Only after I dumped out the contents did I realize, to my shock, that this was no debris left behind by the homeless; Inside was an energy bar and package of Oreos, an orange, an unopened carton of Goldfish crackers and a bottle of water. On the paper bag I had already ripped open was written I hope this makes your holidays brighter. What I had done is undo the good intentions of a good samaritan who only wanted to give a moment’s comfort to someone less fortunate. But rather than navigate through the traffic to replace this Christmas surprise, I’ll reproduce the bag this morning and place it on the tip of that island.

The good samaritan’s deed won’t go unfulfilled. For once, I’ll leave something behind.

About Dave Bradley (264 Articles)
I'm the one behind two totally unrelated blogs; the first on 17 years of writing weekly letters 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 these single pagers 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 and so as long as they keep selling stamps, I'm buying. As for 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.

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