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Stop and smell the roses …

Note to self: when the clock reads 4:53 on a Sunday morning, stay in bed. At least pretend you’re trying to sleep. This really isn’t news. Maybe there’s something to the buzz about melatonin.

But by 5:05 the coffee is on, walking shoes laced up and weather radar app checked. It shows rain at some point. 10 minutes later I’m out the door and into the calm darkness.

The calm is pierced along Colony when a heated argument is heard from one of the apartments on the west side of the street. The woman’s voice is louder than the man’s. I wonder what’s worth yelling about at 5:30 in the morning. No doubt the neighbors wonder about it, too.

The weather aside, it’s a tough morning for trash. The sidewalks and curbs are smothered by leaves glittery from moisture. This only serves to hide evil litter. I accept the conditions and will pick up what I can.

There’s plenty of junk that’s still visible; eight or so water bottles, an empty one gallon bottle of motor oil crushed flat, assorted beer cans and liquor bottles, a Zaxbys polystyrene food containers plus a few unmentionables.

So this is the just rewards for walking in the rain - more junk, more trash, more litter.

So this is the just rewards for walking in the rain – more junk, more trash, more litter.

Of course, a light rain begins to fall at precisely the halfway point. My instinct is to pick up the pace but by now I’m sweating and wonder aloud “what’s the point?” The worst that can happen is that rain soaks my Patagonia wind shell. So the cadence goes unchanged.

The home stretch down Sharon View is always quiet. I pass a stand of live oaks along the sidewalk and pause for a moment to listen to the pat-pat-pat of rain drops on leaves. It’s the rough equivalent of stopping to smell the roses. For those few precious seconds, the sidewalk serenity is nice, relaxing and borderline meditative.

Within 10 minutes I’m home, the morning Charlotte Observer is on the stoop, my wet shoes are off and a cupful of coffee is nuked. Two bags containing 7 – 8 pounds of trash are out back to await sorting. I’ll get to them soon enough. But there’s coffee to finish first.

About Dave Bradley (259 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.

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