Apologies to the Earth
Once, somebody loved this little piece of land.
It was a long time ago, I think. Back when it was a working farm. Long before we lived near it.
Then for a time, it belonged to people who felt no obligation to it. The pasture became a place to get rid of your garbage. Some of the garbage we inherited was new and fairly easy to pick up.
Some of it was old and had sunken into the earth. The more we picked up, the more we discovered buried under the top layer. Cans and plastic water bottles. Broken toys and pieces of old furniture.
We had to rent a 30 yard dumpster. That’s 30 cubic yards. We filled it twice.
Hauling away the trash cost close to one thousand dollars in dumpster rental and disposal fees.
We bought the land in September. We spent a lot of September, October and November picking up trash and paying to have it hauled away. We filled up our recycling bins with old plastic water bottles and cans. We took potentially useful items to donate to a second hand store. Paint and acetone and old cleaning supplies were hauled to the hazardous waste disposal site.
We cut blackberry thickets. and we cut more blackberry thickets. We found Japanese knotweed, a very invasive species, growing in the blackberry thickets. We cut that down. It was dirty, hard and discouraging work. Cut and burn, for if you let the pieces fall on the ground, they sprout up again. Machete and snipper work. If you run over it with a tractor, you just spread it. Cut it down, rake it up, burn it.
Then the rains came. Record rainfall turned the meadow into a shallow lake and the paths to mud.
Now it is February and the rains continue. But spring starts to venture into view. And the land remembers that once someone loved it. Someone planted daffodils along the stream edge.
Where a pile of garbage was picked up, jonquils now remember the touch of sunlight on the earth and they reach up again.
It feels like being forgiven. And offered a second chance.
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