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Sacred space

Driving through Arizona on a less-traveled, two-lane highway affords a luscious assortment of sights. In addition to the mountains, the bountiful cacti are a delight. Saguaros are everywhere, as are prickly pears. And the Joshua trees redefine our notions of trees.

Unfortunately, this vast, pristine beauty is contaminated by the trash of thoughtless travelers. Stopping to snap some photos, we observed a large space that was covered with debris, ranging from plastic and glass bottles to discarded rags and paper of every variety.

My first thought is about the homes in which these inconsiderate slobs dwell. Maybe some are quite tidy. They wait until they are in a public space to unload unwanted items.  Or maybe they live in trash heaps and feel justified in recreating their domestic worlds. In either case, I resent defacing our environment with unsightly junk.

At no time, in no space, have I ever tossed trash out of my car (or home) window. When I see signs posted regarding penalties for littering, I always wonder if any are ever issued.

If you ever make the unfortunate decision to litter while in my space, it is likely that you will hear a protest from me. Yes, I realize that doing so could result in a compromise to my physical safety. But this vast and indescribably wonderful country does not deserve to be defaced.

We are all responsible for the world we occupy, including keeping it free of junk. For as long as I have the ability to assist others in preserving and treasuring our land, I will passionately do so. Shalom.

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