An empty cylindrical can of baked beans rolled uphill. Yes, uphill. A gust of gale-force south-westerly wind propelled the can up the road then, as the gust subsided, the can rolled back down the road. Another gust – and an action replay.

It’s fascinating what you see on the tarmacked road, on the pavement, and in the hedges. In the course of the last few days I’ve spotted a pair of underpants, a hoodie on a hanger, several single gloves, and three bicycles – or parts thereof.

An elderly gentleman – brought up in the days of raising one’s hat, standing up for a newcomer entering a room, and crooking his little finger to drink a cup of tea – would pause regularly on his way to the corner shop, balance with his stick, then stoop to pick up litter. His younger fellow humans ignored him – and the litter. Now… had he seen this morning’s baked bean tin, he would have paused to watch it and work out the physics of motion and velocity (or whatever physics is involved in a rolling baked bean can) and then picked it up and carried it to the bin outside the shop.

I didn’t pick up the baked beans can. I should have done. I’m called to be a steward of God’s earth, even when it means clearing up after someone else. Maybe I just wanted somebody else to enjoy the spectacle of a can rolling uphill. Maybe I was just lazy.


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