Monday, April 28, 2008

Brain Vacation

Ever give yourself a brain vacation? You know what I mean...do you do brainless things to shut off the the thoughts for awhile, or at least let them mix and mingle and wander at will without trying to corral them into something meaningful or coherent? Or is that an ADHD thing for people who think too much all the time?

My brain gets realllllllllllly tired sometimes. Ironically, to shut it off, I have to do something physical but brainless.

This weekend, picking up the trash on the HOA sponsored Community Clean-up Day did it for me. Sure, all kinds of ideas scampered through my head......like overthrowing the PWC Planning Board, taking back wide patches of land on University Blvd. and using them for trees, picnic tables and a co-op garden.......why do people think we can't do that if we're the ones who have to live here?........but those brain waves didn't get too much further than, "I bet we can get enough signatures...." Picking up trash is a relaxing endeavor.

That's not to say I want people to throw more trash on the ground so I can pick it up in order to relax. I suspect if there weren't garbage, I WOULD find something else to do, but litter collecting facilitates the brain vacation, the exercise, and the helpful kind of work people like me enjoy doing. When you think too much, when you are overweight, and when you feel you must do something meaningful as well, there's nothing like tossing burnt out fireworks into a trash bag.

That was a not-so-subtle hint to anyone who shoots off fireworks. Please collect them the next morning and put them where they belong : )

If you've ever participated in a clean-up, then you understand the way trash congregates in the grassy nooks and paved crannies of a community. We spent about an hour collecting just tiny bits of debris along part of the road, less than half of a mile. We picked up enough litter to fill a small trash bag. Yes, cigarette buts, flattened pieces of tissue and newspaper, crunched up bits of tin cans, plastic bottle tops......one trash bag full. Times that by the rest of the world......don't even add in the big stuff.....and you will understand that we are living in a self-inflicted garbage pit. No wonder we're all so unhealthy!

There's no substitute for solid, clean community action.

We can't depend on the county or some policy to keep our neighborhoods looking the way we want them to. We can't depend on the lazier side of our nature that says, "Someone else will take care of it." We can't go on believing the rest of the world will give us what we need and that the Earth will clean itself up. And we should never support actions that waste time and money instead of giving ourselves what we want and need--a great place to live.

I'm glad the HOA gave me the opportunity to rest my brain for a bit while I did something healthy for my body and the planet.

But as you can see, the brain vacation is over for now.
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