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I take His silence for consent …

5:01 a.m. The world sleeps and I’m heading out the door. I have to get a life. Seriously.

The breeze is abnormally up for this time of day and the air is moist and warm. American flags are out in numbers on front porches and miniature versions escort me along a 70 yard stretch of sidewalk across the street from the South Hill entryway. The flags whip with the strong gusts.

Slobs have been unusually quiet overnight. The first half mile or so there’s virtually nothing to be picked up. That strikes me as odd since it’s the one weekend where you might expect a few extra beer cans to be carelessly tossed aside.

The dearth of junk changes in short order with the retrieval of a 3′ by 4′ sheet of thin, flimsy polystyrene wrap. Then the cans and plastic bottles come in quick succession. It’s back to business as usual.

The sordid morning haul. I tire of this grind, but there is some solace in knowing it's all destined for recycling and it won't intrude on the environment any more than it already did.

The sordid morning haul. I tire of this grind, but there is some solace in knowing it’s all destined for recycling and it won’t intrude on the environment any more than it already did.

There is one horrific find squarely on the sidewalk. Some jerk, or jerks, jettisoned three polystyrene to-go boxes which have spilled out of a plastic bag. Apparently the trash thugs didn’t think much of their purchase; each of the boxes is full of uneaten food. Cursing, I begin the extraction process when I notice the food is covered in ants. Leading to the boxes is a thick column of these tiny foragers, thousands of them, streaming to and fro, most laden with small chunks of their prize as they disappear into the grass adjacent to the concrete. It was reminiscent of a Nature Channel episode set in the Amazon rain forest where the swarm of insects go about their business in single file fashion. I summarily empty what appears to be an inedible (except to the ants) Asian menu into the grass to make the journey a little shorter for these little workers. I can only hope that the ant who discovered this bounty and called in this motherlode to the colony was elevated to king, or queen, for a day.

On I go. It’s the usual and sundry this morning. All manner of items beyond count. I wonder momentarily about the shared insanity of these treks, the litterers in their lunacy, me in my abnormal fixation with keeping the byway clean. I say aloud Thank you Lord, for letting me be crazy. I take His silence as consent.

But now I’m home, a nuked cup of coffee just to my right as I write this. There’s still one helluva day ahead of me to do the more fun things. Yeah, I may chirp about getting up with the chickens but that doesn’t negate that it’s a satisfying way to jump start the 4th of July.

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.

2 Comments on I take His silence for consent …

  1. Bob Furstenau // July 4, 2015 at 11:55 am // Reply

    Happy 4th Dave

  2. Lord, thank you for making Dave crazy.

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