Living on a lake is such a gift. That's the best way I can describe it. Wild water has so much to give to us. Unfortunately, not everyone feels the same. I'm betting the majority of the people that live here in our 250+ home community have never walked in the woods by the lake. That's okay, that kind of thing isn't for everyone. That's why most of the residents here, my neighbors, would not have seen this without me bringing it to their attention:
How do you feel when you see this?
Angry? Sad? Shocked? Disgusted? I hope not indifferent. I feel sadness. I expected myself to feel anger, but to be honest, I just feel sad for the people that did this. They obviously can't appreciate what a gift this lake and these woods are to us and that in itself is a very sad thing. This is a selfish act. If you only think of yourself, you cannot possibly be living a happy life, so lets not be angry at those who left this mess for us, but hope that someday they may be able to see the beauty in nature and appreciate it as we do.
Since I discovered this mess, I felt responsible for it. I wasn't going to hope that someone else would step in and volunteer to take care of the problem because we all know that would never happen in the world we live in. So, we made one trip to clean up yesterday with the boys and filled two bags. D was thrilled to help. He had a blast guessing if his items were trash or recycling.
Today, I went alone. When I arrived to the woods, I heard a rustle, looked up, and not one, not two, but THREE bald eagles that had been perched above this EXACT spot took off to the other side of the lake. I feel like it was a sign. Nature's way of saying thank you maybe? As I picked up plastic bottles, pieces of metal, broken glass, shoes, and more I listened to them calling to each other. I watched them soaring over the water and I knew I would finish this task, with or without help.
As I picked up items one by one, it became clear to me that this trash has been here a long time. How could it be that no one else has come upon this before? Or had they and just looked the other way? I know we are all busy. I am truly one of the busiest people I know and here I am, alone in the woods after working all day, commuting for two hours and with a long list of chores and two busy boys waiting for me at home. If I can do it, so can you, so will you?
This doesn't just apply to my neighborhood, but to yours as well. How often do you drive by the same trash every day, day after day? I know I did. Even though what I showed you above was in the woods, out of view, and mostly very old, we had tons of garbage lining our street as well. What kind of person drives through their neighborhood, minutes away from their home and makes the decision to throw their trash on the ground? And what kind of person drives by that same trash every day without a second thought? Are those people one in the same?
When we visited yesterday, it took us all of 30 minutes to clean up everyone else's mess along the road including several sets of blinds, a fireplace grate and no less than SIX bags of dog poop. Can you spare 30 minutes? And why would you even bother picking up dog poop in a plastic bag if you are just going to throw it in to the woods. JUST DON'T. We can do better.
We can do better.