I know some campers. And some hikers. The Outdoorsy types. Me? Well, I love the great outdoors and nature. I love to be in it…. and with it. I will forge a stream and hike to the mountain top. But at the end of the day, I need a hot shower, an abundant food source, and Wi-Fi. Not necessarily in that order.
But this isn’t about my Habits of Nature. This is about something much different. I began with the Campers, Hikers, and Backpackers of the world. You see… most of them live by the “Golden Rule Of Those Who Dwell In The Great Outdoors.” Seriously. Three little words.
Leave No Trace.
This is the #1 Rule at our National Parks. And Worldwide Sanctuaries of Nature. When you visit somewhere, like Yellowstone, or Galapagos, or Machu Picchu. You leave not a single trace of information that you were ever there. It is called preservation of our natural resources. Our world wonders.
This means cleaning up after yourself, and not taking anything that doesn’t belong to you.
Leave it as you found it. Or put it back exactly.
Now. Personally, I think this is brilliant. This should be true of all of us, in every step, breath and heart beat of our day. Put things back exactly as you found them. Or don’t disturb them at all.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe said this better than anyone. “Let everyone sweep in front of his own door, and the whole world will be clean.”
Seriously. I do not understand why this isn’t the Human Creed #3… in every waking hour of our lives. Can you imagine how much better the world would be if this would happen?
And not only the great outdoors. The great indoors are every bit as important. Especially if you live with others.
Messes won’t disappear on its own. Someone has to clean it up. Otherwise, we would be wading knee high in Ronald McDonald wrappers, discarded beer bottles, unwanted tires, and dirty dishes up to the ceiling.
Leave no trace. Sweep in front of that door. Be kind to those who share this world with us.
But truthfully, this is a part of the bigger picture. What is we took care to clean the way to our minds, our hearts, and our souls.
If we leave no trace of hatred, or prejudice, or dishonesty… and only keep that which is kind and loving and good…. just imagine what a world it would be.
If we take care of things, they last.
If we take care of our hearts, we form lasting relationships.
If we take care of our minds, we continue to learn.
If we take care of our souls, we cultivate our spiritual growth.
Make it a clean sweep.. . care, love, learn, grow.
And boys…. put the seat down.
“My turn shall also come:
I sense the spreading of a wing.”
― Osip Mandelstam, The Selected Poems
“A single day is enough to make us a little larger or, another time, a little smaller.”
― Paul Klee