Saturday, April 26, 2008

Clean and Green

It was a strange day indeed, here in Denverland. After being promised a rainy and heavy, gray day, we awoke to sunshine and clear blue skies. I trotted outside with Duncan, clad in pajamas, a t-shirt and my slippers and was quite shocked to discover the temperature was hovering somewhere around the low 30's. We hurried back inside and under the covers where we dozed for another hour or so only to wake up and discover a different world. The sun and blue had vanished, replaced with dark clouds, fierce wind and thick snow, an October snow, a first of Autumn kind of snow, most definitely a desperate For-Pete's-Sake-It's-Almost-May snow. Duncan and I threw ourselves onto the couch in a huff, our plans for the morning dashed.

Luckily this isn't Minnesota, where I hear they got real snow, and it didn't last. By three o'clock the skies had cleared, the day had warmed up nicely and so while Duncan chirped and danced at the door waiting for me, I slipped on some jeans, donned a nice Spring jacket, my Vans and grabbed several big trash bags.

Saturday at the park has become a bit of a nightmare, first with the early morning kiddie soccer camp, then the endless games and finally, after the crowds have cleared, the mounds of trash. I'm quite frustrated but realize the parks and rec people are probably understaffed and just don't care quite as much as I do. Duncan and I use the park nearly everyday and because of all the things we take from it, it's my responsibility to give a little something back. Hence the trash bags. We crossed Bowles and while Duncan chased scents through the damp grass, I busied myself with collecting the plastic water bottles, an endless task, the stray socks, more than a few fast food wrappers, a mouth guard, cigarette butts, something that looked like it might've once been a Happy Meal toy, and lots of other refuse. I made several trips to the garbage cans, many of which have been relocated over by the skate park for use as objects to be vandalized and crushed. The plastic I loaded into my trunk and will take to the recycle drop-off tomorrow morning. The park was far from pristine, but it certainly looked better than it normally does by Saturday evening.

When we finished we plopped down in the grass and watched a family fly their kites. Duncan loved the setting sun and the cool wind and spent nearly thirty minutes rolling around until he was covered in grass then proceeded to lick my head all over while the family watched, laughing and snapping pictures of us while we wrestled. As they reeled the kites in and things calmed down, Duncan spread out and let me rest my head on his back. We watched the light change and when it began to get cold we packed up and headed home. It felt good to be out there today, with the few people present watching us pick up the garbage. I'd meant to do it on Earth Day and when I forgot my good friend Kelly reminded me that every day is Earth Day. But honestly, I didn't do it for anyone else. I only want the park to be a nice clean place for our morning walk tomorrow. And if even if no one else follows our example, Duncan and I know we've given a little back. Maybe this will become our new Saturday ritual!



*Can you spot BOTH kites in the picture? One was very high up and took nearly an hour coming down.

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JM said...
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