Today was a beautiful day. Warm and sunny, with a little bit of humidity to make it feel like summer is still kicking around, despite the leaves falling from the trees. To celebrate this great day, I packed the lils up and headed to one of our favourite spots – Mud Lake. They love to look for ducks, frogs, herons, turtles, geese… pretty much any living creature. I love to escape the city while right in the city.
We had barely arrived this morning when we all noticed that there was a lot of trash on the ground. It wasn’t just at the lookouts, it covered the trail. This started right at the beginning of the path, within feet of the garbage pail that was there. There were wrappers, cans, kleenex, bags, newspapers… You name it, someone had dropped it.
This irked me. Although I hate littering, I expect it more in the downtown or more popular areas. This was nature! How had so many people decided that it was ok to just dump whatever they didn’t want to carry? When they went out of their way to get to this great spot. I was mad because I was making an effort, carrying everything that we produced, including the 47,000 kleenex that I used (thanks allergies) while there, and they weren’t. What gave them the right?
The hardest part was that the lils noticed. “Mommy, why is there so much garbage? Why do people litter?” I really wanted to tell them that it was because people were assholes, but I refrained. Instead, I talked about how some might have been dropped accidentally, but mostly it was because people were lazy or uncaring. They didn’t like it, and neither do I, but it was true.
We had a great visit to Mud Lake, but I didn’t like that their explorations were clouded by so much junk on the ground and floating in the water. It’s never been like that there before, and I hope to never see it like that again.
The best part of our day, my proud mama moment, was when they both started to pick up trash without being asked. We have always tried to leave each place that we visit a little bit cleaner than we arrived, and I was very proud of them both for recognizing that this place needed some love and starting to tidy. We weren’t the only ones either. The path was even tidier on our way out than we had left it!