Over the last month the snows have gradually receded from Edmonton as spring has tepidly taken hold on the northern prairies. It’s an exciting time of year, except for one thing: dog turds.
Yes, dog turds.
I try to get out for runs on a regular basis and as the snows melt away on the various trails near my house, they reveal a vast and diverse collection of dog turds which thoughtless owners left on the trail. Some are grey and nearly fossilized, like a very stale Tootsie Roll coated in flour. Others are greenish brown and covered in mold spots as they slowly dissolve into the earth. In other words, a perfect 10 on the gross-out scale.
But all of them are disgusting. They take the joy out of spring. And God forbid any of them should end up smooshed between the labyrinth treads of your running shoe.
This brings me to a simple observation about personal sanctification. Here it is:
When I take a handful of dog poop bags with me on a run and I pick up as many of these piles of turd as I can to make the trails more pleasant for my neighbors, and I find joy in this modest bit of self-sacrifice simply for the increased pleasure it will give to my neighbors as they walk the trails, and I hold no lingering ill will to the dog owners who left these piles there in the first place, and I don’t want any public recognition for doing all this because doing the right thing is its own reward … then, and only then, I’ll know I’m ready for heaven.
And by the look of things, that’s going to be awhile.