The Garbage Truck

"Aging is not 'lost youth' but a new stage
of opportunity and strength."
Betty Friedan

There is truth in Friedan's statement, but I find a lot of effort is necessary when addressing opportunity, and strength isn't a reservoir easily accessed but a resource which requires some mining. Aging commands a whole new skill set and, at times, I mourn the simplicity of youth.

Yesterday, while sitting in the living room, staring out the north windows after reading the morning paper, I noticed three children walking down the sidewalk on their way to the bus stop. Driving down the street behind them was a garbage truck stopping every now and then to collect the garbage neighbors had set out on the parking.

As the garbage truck stopped at the driveway the children had just crossed, they all stopped, turned, and walked back to the driveway and watched as the newly collected garbage was being tossed into the back of the truck.

Not stepping off the sidewalk and in symphonic unison, they all leaned closer to watch the truck's jaws chew boxes and spent banana peels and black garbage bags in preparation for deposit at the local landfill.

I confess, I couldn't really see the mechanics of the truck's operation, but that's what I envisioned while watching the children in their statuesque pose watching the garbage disappear into the belly of the truck.

The truck drove off, the mesmerizing moment evaporated, and the children continued on their journey to the bus stop.

All because of a garbage truck - a routine vehicle on its weekly rounds participating in an event adults usually ignore.

Youth's fascination with the ordinary - I'd like to bottle it and introduce it to the adult world.

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