He ran through the willows as though nothing could touch him. His foot speed was something to behold and he took great pride in that.
In all the land there was nothing that could catch him…or so he thought. All that was about to change. Perhaps it was the rhythmic pounding of placing one foot in front of the other, but atypical thoughts were now crossing his mind. He did notice something in the land for the first time that disturbed him and so he ran across the breath of it to see if it was also true there as well.
The swift figure ran over to the driftwood that had been layered at the Falls after the last flood…and discovered that his pursuer was here too. Next he tried the river. Surely, the currents would have washed it all away by now? But he found that what was bothering him was gaining speed as well.
By the water, the runner found that it was just as bad here and in a moment of panic he decided to run home.
He lived in the roots of a favorite willow tree and he found what was vexing him also now found him here at his home. The runner had finally come across an opponent that he could not put behind him.
In the willows, it was like this discarded net he nearly ran into.
By the driftwood, it literally was everywhere…on top and intermixed with everything else.
By the river it was perhaps even worse. There was rubbage floating along and drifting by with the currents. Who knew where this stuff would eventually end up?
He even found it by his beloved home and he wondered why he hadn’t noticed this before now? Something in the day had opened his eyes to the truth around him…everywhere he went he could find discarded waste and it bothered him. Yesterday, he was able to put it out of sight, but today was a different. The runner found what he couldn’t out run was a sense of responsibility he was now feeling for the land that was his home.
The trash that was everywhere to be seen, ( if only people would choose to see it), was like a grenade in the sand just waiting to explode. At some point, it would enter the ecosystem in even more intimate ways and affect the lives of all that live here. For the first time, the runner realized that he had a shared responsibility to the other life around him and that ultimately, they would all share the same fate together.