I've never lived before in a place where walking the rubbish bin to the road, on a chilly late autumn evening, makes me smile so much. The sky is big out from my west-facing garden; nothing obscures the vast, changeable sky from north-west to south-west. It is from this way that the weather approaches from the enormity of the southern ocean and clouds are often skimming across the sky, at several different levels, in very different shapes and patterns, in colours from brilliant white to deepest, darkest black, all at once. As the sun sets beyond a row of distant hills, each layer is painted as if none were existing in the same sky, on the same night. It is quite extraordinary and something I have gained by chance in the purchase of my pretty cottage in paradise.
But that is not all that makes me smile. Neighbours in coats, also putting out their bins, call and wave a cheerio, the T-shirt clad lad from next door speeds past down the incline of the footpath on his skate board, dodging all the bins, as if it were a race track and spirals of smoke puff briefly from the equally pretty cottages that line the other side of my street, as people prepare for the chilly night. On the way back to my door I collect some extra kindling from under my gum trees, the crack of dry wood searing through the night air as I break it up into fire-box sized pieces.
One of the reasons I enjoy all these ordinary events is that I do not put my bin out for collection until it is full, which is every few weeks, maybe once every couple of months, so I do not normally have a reason to be wandering about in the street at dusk! If everyone only put their bin out once a month, the truck would only have to make 1/4 the stops to collect the same weight of rubbish, saving time and fuel because stopping and starting wastes a lot of both. This is one of the small things we can all so easily do to reduce our footprint on the earth and that was another reason why I was smiling.... it feels good to make less rubbish AND to dispose of it in a more energy-efficient way, with such little effort. Try it and enjoy the experience!
......another reason to be smiling.... my first attempt at making sourdough pitta bread was pretty good and will go nicely with my freshly picked dinner.