I live in Oregon.
Living “green” is very in right now here, which means everyone recycles.
Us included. (Mainly because it’s free and significantly lowers monthly garbage costs.)
So, every week or two I gather up all the cans/bottles/paper/cardboard/milk jugs/juice boxes/and everything else I can think of, throw it all in the car, and off to the recycling center I go.
Once there, it’s a few minutes of sorting (and cursing when sticky mystery substances slither from bottles onto my hands) and then I’m off to my favorite place… the magazine recycling bin.
Inside is a guaranteed literary buffet. From home improvement to golf, gossip to National Geographic, it’s always a random assortment of fantastic choices.
And, because I have no shame and must hone my skills at embarrassing my children with such activities, I always grab a few.
But the other day what I saw made my eyes wide with horror.
Someone had tossed a pile of BOOKS in there.
Not just any books, but beautifully illustrated books filled with the essays of our forefathers like Abraham Lincoln, Benjamin Franklin, and various other heroes.
Of course, I scooped them up, brought them home, dusted them off, and placed them lovingly on the shelf.
It’s too bad some ignorant fool didn’t realize the value of what they tossed aside. Not so much the monetary value, but for the joy they would have gotten by opening the covers.
But, one person’s trash is now my treasure.
Here’s one gem that I know writers everywhere will cherish…
When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,
When the road you’re trudging seems all uphill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high,
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest, if you must–but don’t you quit.
Life is queer with its twists and turns,
As everyone of us sometimes learns,
And many a failure turns about
When he might have won had he stuck it out;
Don’t give up, though the pace seems slow—
You might succeed with another blow.
Often the goal is nearer than
It seems to a faint and faltering man,
Often the struggler has given up
When he might have captured the victor’s cup,
And he learned too late, when the night slipped down,
How close he was to the golden crown.
Success is failure turned inside out—
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt–
And you never can tell how close you are,
It may be near when it seems afar;
So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit—
It’s when things seem the worst that you mustn’t quit.