Monday, May 31, 2010

The man, the stick and the bags..

I go for runs out at the beach several times a week and often see sites that are fascinating--the red tailed hawk that often lands right in front of me as if to start a conversation, the blackbird that I help to get a drink from the water fountains and many interesting people going about their lives out at an urban beach outpost.
I imagine that life in the "old world" is one of small pleasures along with small struggles--some of which come with you to the "new world". Many people earn their living collecting cans and bottles--a rough way to be sure, although it is democratic and accessible. But you need endurance and some swift tricks most likely brought over from a place of origin far away. This man--probably well into his 80's, is a regular fixture shuffling out along the Great Highway--long spindly stick straddling his hunched shoulders with sometimes 4 jumbo garbage bags hanging off each side---filled to the max with cans and plastic bottles collected from the remains of the weekend coastal revelers.

A long holiday weekend like this one must yield quite the bounty.
I nod to him as I run by--but think about this image often--his strength and  determination is inspiring and
also a reminder of the world we live in now--the gritty-ness and the quest to survive in all of us.

Here's to him.