What was he thinking? Smoke a cigarette in the sub-zero whether, throw the cigarette-butt in the snow drift and scuttle back inside…Didn’t he remember the snow would melt!? Well, the snow has melted and uncovered much trash and cigarette-butts on the patch of muddy-grass in front of my building.
For a few days, I just was happy it was warmer, so I didn’t let the trash bug me. Then, last Saturday, I made a plan…I had had enough of seeing this old sweatshirt laying in the street for two months, so I stuffed two bags in my pocket before my run and headed outside.
After jogging a couple miles, I felt ready to clean up “my” patch of grass. I slipped a red bag over my hand (because I hadn’t found rubber gloves) and started picking up candy wrappers, drink bottles, and over fifty cigarette butts; at first I passed them by, but then I thought, “They will take forever to decompose, so I should just pick them up.” Some were all soggy and falling apart, while others seemed pretty new.
A few people said, “Hi!” as they passed; one guy guffawed at me, but I ignored him. Another guy said, “You see all that trash down on the next block? Well, the wind is going to blow it down here!” My response: “Well, I can just help a little bit by picking up this trash…”
It brought me joy to see that muddy patch of grass all cleared and ready for the grass to turn green and vibrant in a few weeks. Spring cleaning in the city is a bit different than in the country, but it is still cleaning that needs to be done. I’m just glad the spring weather is here!
(And I forgive the smokers who littered all over that grass; just know: whatever you throw into a snow pile WILL show up in the spring. Take those cigarette-butts inside next winter!!)
By M. H. Campbell