I found humor yesterday in the fact that I had been up early and on my way to the salon for some hand and foot therapy in “sparkly grapefruit” and in the afternoon I was tromping about the chicken pen and corral wearing work gloves and hauling an old cat litter bucket into which I was tossing the myriad of junk I came across that had worked it’s way to the surface of the soil. The previous owners appear to have failed in the subject of Environment Friendliness in all respects. The first year that Mr. Muse and I lived here we filled a yard-and-a-half dumpster every two weeks with junk that we picked up from around the property. Year two finally found us able to toss some of the demolition items from the house in there as well, but overwhelmingly, those first two years were devoted to picking up after the previous occupants.
The Happy Chickens initially began to follow me around and Sumo, my shadow of a rooster who had already “escaped” to the front yard to be on patrol, came running back to make sure I wasn’t handing out any good treats to everyone else without him. With every plink and thud into the bucket the chickens attempted to view the contents therein but soon lost interest when I continued to throw things into, rather than take them out of, the bucket.
Bits of asphalt and wire insulation. A sliver of orange marker light and a chunk of computer monitor glass. Filter from a cigarette and a chunk of melted plastic. Shards of a “Squirt” bottle and an old silver dinner knife. The variety and wide-ranging amount of smithereens was astounding and as I walked, stooped, crouched and combed I began to think of one of my favorite Shel Silverstein poems, “Sarah Cynthia Silvia Stout Would Not Take The Garbage Out“.
The former owners of this property were similar to Sarah Cynthia Silvia Stout.
Oh, they took their garbage out, but they took it out the backdoor and down the slope.
Behind the barn and in the trees. All the places visitors wouldn’t see.
They invited friends. They encouraged kin.
Everyone told to toss their trash right in.
Tubs of moldy yogurt and broken porcelain plates.
Mangled car wire and lots of old, bent gates.
They buried boats and riding mowers.
Snowmobile tracks and busted-up lawn blower.
Acoustic tiles and concrete edging, old swing sets and construction wedging.
Bullet shells and lug nut caps, plastic roping, all of lifes bits and scraps.
They’d pile everything up and ignore it for good, the local wildlife used it as food.
It got so bad, the neighbors built fences, blocking the the trash that blew around, their only defence.
Then we moved in, and began to clean up.
The neighbors stopped by and praised the work begun.
The cleaning is ongoing, and probably will last for life.
Our duty is to the land, to end it’s strife.
Earth Day is coming up, and I believe that every day is Earth Day. I’ll head out with my off-roading Radio Flyer wagon in the next few days to pick up the trash in the ditches but today, Mr. Muse and I will go enjoy some of the local Earth and head out for Go Take A Hike, Sunday.
How are you spending your Sunday?