How often have you been out in some lush neck of nature, in awe and peace, inspired by the beauty and— hey what’s that? A broken beer bottle? And a Kit Kat bar wrapper? And a dirty tampon too? WTF? How can people be so wantonly dumbass as to trash a place of untainted beauty? OK. A few bad apples right? The real question is maybe— when you also notice how old some of the trash is— why do people just leave it there?
If you are a fan of my last book chances are good you first found out about from reading Arthur Magazine. A very cool publication that was edited by Jay Babcock. And chances are equally good you would find the latest thing that Jay is up to pretty cool, he has founded a group called GREENFRIAR which seems to straddle the intersection of environmentalism and spirituality. Although don’t quote me on that — that’s just the impression that I get from perusing their website, which you can check out here.
Ever notice that the best ideas, the ones that take off and actually make a difference are usually stupidly simple? The idea behind Greenfriar is to take a weekly hike in nature and pick up trash. Followed by some meditation. The group has been posting pictures of the garbage collected on their outings which occur in Joshua Tree. It’s inspiring. I would like to see chapters of this group sprout up everywhere. And why shouldn’t they? It is a perfect marriage of taking time to appreciate nature with taking time to protect and . . .worship nature. Does that word sound weird here?
I don’t know. I think it’s cool precisely because it blurs some boundaries. I think as a culture at large we tend to compartmentalize everything. Like: you got your spirituality here, and then your politics over here, and then nature is in this square, and health over here etc. Really it’s all supposed to be a big muddy mess, right?