Tag Archives: trash

I took out the trash today.

I took out the trash today.

I filled my daughters’ water bottles. I made one lunch. I started the dishwasher. I had my one cup of coffee. My morning routine is predictable. There are activities I do every morning, like spend a few minutes in meditation. Other activities happen as needed, like making lunches for my daughters.

Today, I took out the trash.

Let me back up to the start of the day. My alarm went off at 4:50. Groggy, I put my feet on the floor. I was already dreading the day. The health department set their COVID dial to Orange. The school routine would be amped up. Cleaning every period. More temperature checks. No visitors to the school. Let alone, the daily battle of wearing a mask. That’s all I will say about that situation.

A bad mood was brewing before I even started my coffee maker.

And it just got worse. Especially, when I had to fight the trash container to get the bag out. We have a cylinder trash can that creates a vacuum when the trash bag is too full. Fun times.

I wake my daughters at 5:55. Get them breakfast. We are usually ready to head to school at 6:30. This morning, we were actually a few minutes ahead of schedule. My mood was darkening, that’s when I took out the trash.

The clip above is from the movie Peaceful Warrior, which is based on the book, Way of the Peaceful Warrior.

I waited for the garage door to open so that I could put my bags in the truck of the minivan. After setting the bags in, I stepped out on to our driveway and took in the stars. I heard a side door open so I turned to see my second daughter waiting for the door to stop moving. I asked her to come see the stars, especially the constellation, Orion.

There we stood, father and daughter under a morning sky that was filled with wonder. I pointed out Mars and how it had a reddish shine. We found Venus, too. We circled looking at the different constellations. We heard the rest of the family getting situated into the van, but we stood there a few more seconds.

“Pretty cool, huh?” I said.

“Yeah, the stars are beautiful,” she said.

We smiled at each other, then got into the van to start the day.

My daughter helped me take out the trash today.

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Turning 40 “Life”

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This morning was a reminder of one of the aspects of life I’ve learned.  It started as one of those mornings. Trash and recycling need to be put out on the curb. Lunches needed to be made.  Diapers to daycare.  Movies to return. My oldest son overslept.  My youngest daughter didn’t want to be put down. It was time for me to start my commute and I was nowhere close to pouring my coffee into my travel mug.

I multi-task, carrying the last of the recycling, diapers under on arm, movies clutched in a few fingers to put in my wife’s car.  Both garage doors opening is an appropriate sound track to the morning, arrrrgrarrrarrr, clunk-clunk.

It is about 6:20 in the morning, dark, and my breath can be seen as the cold tickles my forearms.  It takes three trips to get the trash and recycling to the curb. The constellation Orion is above the southern horizon.  Mars is shining bright toward the east.  Beautiful. I take a few minutes to star gaze (I don’t know why, but stargazing is special for me).

In those few minutes the stars reminded me that life is beautiful.  No matter what is going on in life, “nothing dims these stars.”  I know that life can be hard. I know even in good times there can be a grimy feeling to life. Diamonds can collect filth on them.  But the shine is still there; the diamond will sparkle (like a star) with a little cleaning.

Minutes later as I was getting into my car, my sons came out to get into the minivan.  “Did you guys see the stars?” I asked.  We go out to the drive way and we stargaze together for a minute.  For a moment life hits me, in a single moment I feel the beauty of life so true that it almost crushes my heart.  There I stood with my two sons, in front of our new home, on the driveway that we play basketball.  Life can be hard. I know this. There is pain and disappointment, tragedy that can also crush a heart.

It takes work, it takes time, but no matter how filthy a diamond becomes, it still has its shine. “Nothing dims these stars.”

“Dad, there is a new Clone Wars on tonight!” Both boys head to the minivan chatting excitedly about the show tonight. I smile. Everyone has their own set of stars.  What allows you to know that life is beautiful?

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