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Pickin’ Up Trash

This post was written by Elysia
on April 18, 2011 | Comments (2)

In honor of Earth Day this Friday, this week our Llewellyn blogs will be dedicated to environmental issues small and large. Watch for discussions on our facebook page as well! For today, I’d like to start out by talking about cleaning up our environments, one step at a time.

So the other weekend as part of my spiritual practice I went out for a nice walk in my neighborhood to pick up trash. As the days have been growing ever warmer, it’s the perfect time of year to see what’s been left behind under the last vestiges of melting snow, sand, salt and grit along the side of the road. I found car parts, a glove, a cell phone, and tons of beverage cups, plastic bottles, wrappers, aluminum cans and broken glass.

My plan was to walk to the park, start picking up trash there, and work my way back home. I passed a lot of trash on the way to the park, thinking “I’ll get that on the way back” – but it turned out my huge bag wasn’t nearly huge enough to fit all the trash, so there was no picking up on the way home. Next time I’ll have to bring 3-4 trash bags. Or just pace myself and do a little each day! In the end it only took 15-20 minutes to completely fill a bag with trash. And during that short amount of time I was rewarded thrice, in the following ways:

1. Immediately found a dollar. A very dirty dollar, but a dollar nonetheless! : )

2. A couple walking across the street from me, going in the opposite direction, called out a thanks to me. I waved back.

3. I saw a wild turkey from maybe 10 feet away!

The turkey was the coolest part. It happened after I put the trash in the park’s dumpster, stripped off my winter coat and sweater because I was so hot by then, and sat on a bench for a rest. (I think picking up trash burns a lot of calories!) When I felt ready to walk home, I stood up and turned around just in time to see flapping of large wings behind a concrete barrier around the playground. At first I thought it was some kind of hawk because of the reddish hue to the brown wings. But then I saw its little head poke up — definitely turkey looking!

So I gathered my things and quietly approached, and saw the turkey crouching on the ground. She stood up when she saw me and looked at me hard. Then she hopped up onto the concrete barrier and I thought she’d wander over to say hello to me. Maybe she’s used to people in the park or gets handouts from them. But no, she was not quite that tame and took off after a couple minutes, flew across the park toward the trees.

Next time maybe I’ll bring my camera! But this is about exactly what she looked like (except imagine her in a very urban city park!):

Wild Turkey by flythebirdpath~} teddy

I guess the moral of my little tale here is that even in the city, nature holds little delights for you if you just keep your eyes open. Make your trash walk into an omen walk, a nature walk, a treasure hunt, or even a good excuse for exercise. (I found out the hard way that picking up trash by repeatedly squatting almost non-stop for 20 minutes really, really hurts the next few days! If you’re not fit, think about bringing along a trash poker or grabber instead. They cost around $10-$30, depending on length, quality, and whether it’s a simple poker or a grabber.) If you think about the fact that just 15-20 minutes of work can fill a whole trash bag, just imagine what you could do if you dedicated an hour, spread out, per week. Get friends and neighbors involved and share drinks and snacks afterwards! If you’re lucky enough to be part of a larger Pagan community or coven, consider adopting a stretch of highway, or a local park.

Have a nice Earth Day week everyone! Feel free to share your suggestions for Earth Week (and beyond!) here in the comments section.

Reader Comments

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#1 
Written By Brian
on April 18th, 2011 @ 4:52 pm

I really love the idea of a coven joining up together and doing a ‘trash detail’!!! unfortunately, i’m solotaire and drive a truck over the road. but this week i intend on doing my part when i can at the truck stops and rest areas. Goddess knows, they need it!!!
Blessed Be!!!

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#2 
Written By Brian
on April 18th, 2011 @ 4:59 pm

i live within 7 minutes of the state capitol building in KY and have about 3-5 deer and 2 beavers that like to wander around in our back yard. i was standing in the kitchen yesterday when a deer came out the woods with 2 new babies!!! talk about COOL!!!

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