Pick Up Your Trash

I walked the beach just after dawn. I was hunting keyhole limpets and hairy tritons for no other reason than to amass more of them. A few gulls flew overhead. The sand was deep and I plodded through it.

One of the forts I started months ago that some enterprising builder(s) had come along and greatly improved, beckoned, so I changed course to investigate.

As I entered the circular fort, I saw a piece of yellow legal paper flat on a cut round of driftwood. The paper was weighted down with a piece of wood. It had writing on it and was somewhat wet from last night’s fog.

Below the note, was a small pile of trash and the remains of a fire. One item stood out: an empty can of black bean soup. Clearly someone had heated the soup on the fire and probably spent the night in the fort and left behind their trash.

I read the note.

It was a gentle invitation to pick up the trash for the litterer who was long, long gone. The note said Thank You at the end. I was struck by the kindness of the tone…


The note perplexed me. A fellow beachcomber had encountered the trash and also happened to be carrying a legal pad and pen to leave such a note? The trash pile contained paper and pen? It all defied sense

But, still, the note was there and I admired the writing and the message. Good cursive too.