Photo credit: Robin Malmanger

By Dave Markwell

A couple of days ago, we were blessed with a nice, late winter day. The sun came out and actually felt warm. The first smells of spring whispered in the light breeze. I went for a walk around the Des Moines Marina, because, frankly, there’s not a finer place to be on a nice day.

Cruising by the lovely, little wine/brew spot, the Quarterdeck, I waved to friends enjoying this day, too. I strolled past the boat houses and around Anthony’s Homeport. I smelled the sea and the creosote from the pilings. It smelled like my life. They say the olfactory has the longest memory of any of our senses. I believe this to be true.

As I came back around my loop, I stopped and had a beer with my buddies in the sun. It was nearly perfect. We chatted and laughed and shared ideas. We drank cold beer with the sun on our faces. We were connected in a unique, yet familiar moment. It felt like a homecoming after a long trip.

On my earlier walk, I picked up a few pieces of trash. Nothing big, but not nothing. I do this often and see others do this often, too. I try to acknowledge my fellow trash-pickers. Sometimes, I want to hug them. I love the stewards of this community who show up, dutifully, to clean up messes that aren’t theirs. They make things better and I’m grateful.

Living in, belonging to, or being a part of a community implies some degree of stewardship. I like this obligation. And, I like the folks who take this seriously, but with a smile on their face. These heroes surround us. They make life better for us all. And, if this is YOU…I thank you!! Also, if I catch you in an act of loving stewardship, I might pull the trigger on that hug I’ve been keeping in reserve. You’ve been warned.

Dave Markwell is a life-long Des Moines liver and lover. Former owner of Waterland CrossFit and the Waterland Arcade, Dave is now using his unique story-telling voice to help small businesses tell a better story, and his love for people to help folks live bigger and better lives.

For more info. check out his website:

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