I spent time this Saturday picking up trash with a group in memory of Jerry A. Nutter. It was great to meet Dave Nutter’s mother, sister and other friends and share a little time with other people who love the James river.
It was a good time and I was surprised that the river was as clean as we found it to be. That said, my son Mitchell and I collected a full large trash bag of bottles, cans, plastic, clothing, etc., over about a mile of shoreline and among the rocks. That’s also considering that were trailing the main group most of the way, so we were finding what they missed.
Other than the satisfaction I got for cleaning the river (hitting spots I’ve been meaning to grab for months), the best was watching Mitchell make a friend and play. The little 4-year-old boy, Baydon, his mother, Alicia, and his little brother were great companions for us.
Watching the boys play on the rocks and in the river and make games out of nothing reminded me of when I was a kid. There were times I’d find myself in what I thought were random places and events, only to discover the joy that would come from just playing while my parents would go about their business.
It’s easy to forget as we get older and busier that little kids just need to play, and a clean river makes a great place for adventure (and to get yourself dirty).