When the sun blinks over the horizon, I’m out the back door for my daily walk-about, a ritual of long standing. Today is our neighborhood’s trash day, which adds an unexplainable excitement to my walk. Now, wait, before you decide I really need to get a life, there’s more to this story.
Since last March when the stock market sank into the pits of despair, garbage has been dull, common, rift with piles of pizza boxes and beer cans. Five months have passed and the consumer appears to have jerked out the IV.
I hadn’t really paid much attention to the difference in garbage until I read Robert J Shiller’s article, “An Echo Chamber of Boom and Bust” in yesterday’s New York Times. Certainly the up’s and down’s of the economy are complex. Just ask Ben Bernanke or your best friend. But, there also seems to be a viral spread of contagious perception in which people view life as “things are good” or “things are bad.”
This morning, stacked alongside those ubiquitous black plastic bags were Styrofoam packing materials stuffed into trash cans, old lamps leaning
precariously against the curb, discarded headboards, a chair or two with leg injuries and boxes with labels that read, “this side up.” All definite signs that we’re consuming again.
Summer hasn’t waved the white flag yet, but there are degrees
of heat relief. Maybe we have decided to force the good times, tired of the boo-hoos of yesterday and ready to get on with today. Maybe, like Shiller speculates, “…a social epidemic is supporting renewed confidence.”
And, just maybe our garbage is telling the world that we’re on the move, shopping, fixing and seeing hope in the future. Good for us!