Thoughts Along the Path . . .


I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I love living in Ayr. The many reasons include the friendly people and easy access to nature.

Yesterday was a perfect example of both of these, though with a sad twist which I will explain in a moment.

I went for a walk around town that afternoon. As I did so, I exchanged friendly greetings with others walking or bike riding. Folks mowing or mulching leaves. Parents playing catch with their kids. Car washers. And in an unexpected encounter, I saw a man unloading a wheelbarrow of pumpkins from the back of his car. We chatted about the variety of pumpkins, and he even offered me one as a gift. I got home an hour later grateful once again for living here.

Before I continue this story, I need to mention one thing. As many of you already know, the local Baha’is are currently engaged in a 100 Days of Service initiative. Starting 19 August for 100 days we are finding special ways to serve others, culminating in the dedication of soon-to-be-installed fitness equipment that we have donated for Cowan Park behind the North Dumfries Community Complex. We are doing this to honour the memory of Abdul-Baha, the son of the founder of our Faith; he passed from this earthly life exactly 100 years ago.

Thinking about this as I returned from yesterday’s walk, I decided to go to Piper’s Glen to pick up some litter that I had noticed a few days earlier. I took a very large garbage bag with me and started along the trees parallel to the driveway and parking lot. In less than 20 minutes, having not gotten beyond this small area, the bag was bulging with trash. I didn’t even get to any of the trails, where I know there is yet more litter.

I do not understand how this happens. Who does this? Who goes to a park or trail and then leaves litter? Can this possibly be some of the same friendly people I see around town?

Feeling both perplexed and sad about this, I made my way home. I told myself these are not the same people. Surely I don’t know or even encounter anyone who would litter a public space. It’s probably one of those “bad apple” situation where a few people are spoiling for others.

So this morning, wanting to re-orient myself to beautiful Ayr, I went for a fitness run. In addition to the usual array of friendly walkers and residents, I saw a group of children playing hockey and was delighted when they said hello to me even before I had a chance to greet them. Once again I felt optimistic about the future. I am certain they would never litter, and I’m guessing their parents, siblings, and friends care about the environment, too.

In the words of Abdul-Baha: “. . . nature is to be respected and protected, as a divine trust for which we are answerable.” I’m grateful to be in a town where this sentiment is shared by almost all of us.




Submitted to Ayr News by Jaellayna Palmer, November 2021

© Jaellayna Palmer 2021