Observations from a guy stuck in traffic on Earth Day.



Have you ever really looked at all the debris that lines our highways?  That is what caught my attention Earth Day morning as I sat in traffic on the freeway headed for a 10 a.m. recording session near downtown Houston.

In just a two mile stretch I passed a bumper guard off the front end of a car, license plate still attached.  A few feet away, was what appeared to be the rear bumper guard from the same vehicle.

There was a broken step ladder, a five gallon bucket and a tarp that some work crew was probably already missing.  There was the usual assortment of trash and pieces of shredded rubber that must have been a tire at one time. Then I spotted some sort of car part, I think it was a starter.  Maybe it came from the same car that left its bumpers behind. Who knows?

On the trip home I came across two more bumpers, a wheel with no tire and a tire with no wheel.  There were scattered articles of clothing, which always makes me wonder… but not as much as when I see a single shoe.  Finally I passed a giant plastic lid to some sort of container that at one time had been held on with heavy duty straps.  The straps were still attached to the lid, but there was nothing underneath.

So what is my point?

Well, you might think I was concerned for the environment because of all this waste lying around.  After all, it was Earth Day. And while I am all for recycling and keeping things clean for future generations, I found another lesson in all of this.

We have too much junk in our lives. Useless stuff that piles up, gets in our way, slows us down and distracts us.  Some things we just cannot seem to throw away or sell, I get that.  I have my own stash of memories and assorted treasures that to most people mean nothing.

But some of what we all have is like those bumpers that were ripped off cars and left lying on the side of the road. Nothing more than constant reminders of the things we have messed up along the way. The mistakes and poor choices we have made.

Wouldn’t it be great if we could just clear up all the things that constantly bring us down? Relationships gone sour, jobs left unfinished, regrets.

Perhaps a little house cleaning and street sweeping would be good for us.

Just think how much more productive you would be if you did away with the reminders of past mistakes and bad times and focused on the beauty of the world around us and not on all the junk on the side of the road.


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