Witnessing the acceptance of unacceptable behavior by others
Natures original music is played only once, never recorded, and rarely heard again. It is completely spontaneous and true to life. A rare, lucky few ever hear it. It can only be heard in solitude from within. To never hear the music in you is the greatest tragedy of all. One of the best things I ever heard I saw first on a bumper sticker. It said, All who wander are not lost. I appreciate a good retort to conformity.It seems like everything in the world, including Love, is being portrayed with shallowness, sex and a carnival atmosphere more and more as time and society marches, or blunders, on. Solemnity is slowly disappearing from human awareness. When once, not only birth and death, but simple pleasures, like preparing food, cleaning and working, were considered a blessing by many, it seems now more and more people refuse to see Life that way. On Saturday, two young boys in an older model red Toyota pick-up truck with a California license plate whizzed thoughtlessly through the 35 mph zone outside of Tahoe City towards Truckee doing about 40. Not bad considering how many cars and trucks, many oversized, do 50 or 55 through 35 mph zones in towns. A stern warning most drivers are oblivious to multiple skid marks near the lumber yard attest to the fact. The Toyota truck had a black sticker on the passenger side rear window that said, in white letters, It’s high time. A plastic water bottle burst out the window and landed on the side of the road. Maybe it jumped out all by itself, for mom to pick up.The ejection of the water bottle was a glaring irony, an indisputable indictment. Maybe the two boys already had too much garbage piled up in their small world inside the cab.Fifty yards from where the not so degradable water bottle landed, sloshing and rolling with the chaotic energy of human neglect, there lay a child’s plastic toy car upside down in the dirt on the shoulder of the road. It had been deliberately tossed from a passing car a few weeks earlier. I witnessed both of these unbelievably petty criminals in action.On Sunday, a large brown pick up truck this one sporting an Alaska plate loaded with recreational gear tore through the gravel lot above River Ranch where the bike trail tops the hill, fish tailing wildly this way and that way, spewing rocks and gravel in the direction of other vehicles and bystanders, creating a thick cloud of dust about 50 yards wide and as high as the treetops. These were not drunk college kids. This was a family with young children. One of the kids was screaming and crying because of the incredibly bad vibes and commotion caused by those who were supposed to be caring for him.The day before, it was a red Jeep Cherokee doing the honors. The driver was a teenager and his father was in the passenger seat, impressed by his sons skillful wrangling of the out-of-control vehicle. They laughed. A special bonding moment for father and son.They toss their garbage, scar the land and endanger the public. I pick up after them, including their disgusting cigarette butts, and see the damage they do to the Earth. It is incredibly sad to witness such complete disregard for the environment. Most of the time these people are actually sober, which is really scary. They say things like, Oh, theres nobody around. Whats the big deal? or, I didnt mean to do it. They answer civility and reasonable requests with insults and threats. Their friends and family defend them as if reckless driving was perfectly normal, acceptable behavior. They ridicule local property owners as if making good money was a sin. Welcome to high time in Tahoe everyone. Jealous of our music are you? Natures music is best heard in silence. Open your ears.Bob Sweigert is a Sierra Sun columnist, published poet, experienced ski instructor and commercial driver. He’s lived at Lake Tahoe for 25 years.
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