It was a gorgeous day filled with clear skies and cool breezes.
In Phoenix, a day like this at the end of April is unfamiliar but greeted with much excitement. The skin smiles as it’s kissed by gentle winds and our hearts sing as we mingle with nature.
On days like this, the boys and I jet out the door to spend away our time under the sympathetic rays of the sun.
We coat our bodies with sunscreen, throw on our sneakers, and start the day with a long walk in our gorgeous community. My boys point out the occasional geese soaring above us, the butterflies crossing our path and the planes jetting through the sunny sky.
Recently on one of our walks, my 4 year old pointed out a milk gallon lurking beneath the oleander bushes. As we continued on our path, we noticed more containers, newspapers, and plastic bags inhabiting our street.
He immediately proclaimed that this trash should have been placed in a dumpster and how terrible it was to see it floating around in our neighborhood. You see, it had only been a week since my son celebrated Earth Day at school and learned the importance of taking care of Mother Earth.
Those wisdoms were fresh on his mind and he felt that we should do something about the unpleasant scene in our neighborhood.
Our children are taught about the importance of taking responsibility to nurture our planet, but in an individualistic culture, sometimes we fail to encourage the collectivism that is needed to impact actual change. Looking out for one another, taking leadership even when we’re not obligated, and yes, sometimes doing something out of our scope simply because “it’s the right thing to do” is what my 4 year old reminded me on that warm yet breezy afternoon.
With latex gloves protecting our hands and a big garbage bag, off we went to confiscate the litter we had seen on our walk. It only took a few minutes to bag up bottles and newspapers to restore the beautiful landscape on our street.
Once we returned back to our home, we played a game of “recycle or trash?” My son declared each item’s destiny and then with his budding basketball skills, shot them into the appropriate dumpster.
It indeed was a gorgeous day and I like to think Mother Earth smiled a bit brighter that day because of my son.