I’ve been housesitting in Boulder less than a week, and happily I’ve found a walking trail that fits my three-mile round-trip requirement. Goose Creek Greenway, a stream with a winding path beside it, is well-used by a mix of ducks, geese, pigeons, bicyclists, joggers, mothers with prams, fast walkers, slow walkers, and the occasional homeless person with cart. But…
… for the three days I’ve been walking it, I’ve been consumed with noticing trash. The steam is choked with grasses and debris; the paved trail is bordered by bottles, plastic bags, paper, cardboard, candy wrappers, cigarette butts, styrofoam containers…the ugh-stuff of consumerism.
Yesterday, slogans started floating through my brain: “Think global, act local”….”If not me, who?”….”Never doubt the power of one person to make a difference”…”Do random acts of kindness”…. Plus, my spiritual community promotes doing anonymous deeds of service.
Oh, no! I thought. Do I really have to clean up Goose Creek myself? Okay, okay, Conscience. How bad can it be to try it for one day?
So I made a plan. Next time I was at the store, I’d get a box of large trash bags and a box of disposable food-handler gloves. I’d put on gloves as I left the house for my walk, and carry the bag with me. I’d also stuff an extra bag and extra set of gloves in my back pocket. Then as I walked, I’d pick up trash until that one bag was full.
And if anyone approached me to comment, I’d say to them, “You know, I’ve got an extra bag and gloves, if you’d like to join me.” I fantasized they’d say, “Sure!” And then more people would notice and jump in and help, and soon we’d be interviewed by the Boulder paper….
That was all yesterday.
Today, I started my walk again, aware that I hadn’t bought any trash bags or gloves. Oh well, maybe tomorrow. I ran through my plan again.
Then, lo and behold, what did I see today?
Four young people with bags picking up trash along Goose Creek! No kidding! I stopped to thank them profusely. They said they were from the Global Greengrants Fund organization.
I walked farther on. Three more were picking up trash. “You’re my heroes!” I called out. And realizing they were all women, immediately I fell to I debating with myself whether it was politically correct to call them heroes. Should it be heroines?
Beyond that, in a low culvert, I heard more than saw a young man, stooped over, pushing out a huge amount of debris. I called, “Hey you in there, thanks!” He called back, “Thank YOU!”
Wherever this team had been, the grounds looked tidy and welcoming.
And now, all this has got me musing. Was this a case of 100th-Monkey Syndrome? Did the Universe just need one more person (me) to imagine trash being picked up, for it to happen? Or am I just getting better at manifesting what I’d like to see around me with ease and grace? Or did my thoughts and intention have nothing whatsoever to do with it all?
Who knows? Certainly not I. But I sure enjoyed the timing.