Sand Ruins: What I see while plastic picking.
October 8, 2019
I have dreams of ocean plastic picking on far off beaches, but the reality is that the stretch of coastline I walk along needs me. Every day is different. Different sunsets, different views, different living beings, and different experiences. If I don’t pick up along my short stretch, who will? I’ve walked by the same lost item several times over several days before I collect the item, so my experiential truth is that likely no one else will.
I have learned to appreciate the small changes along my stretch. I pick plastic, and stop to admire the remnants of castles and sculptures children have painstakingly built. These are the ruins I have seen in the sand.
When I was young I had an active imaginary life. I had an imaginary friend until about first grade. I used to cross my eyes and see him in the paisley patterns of my family’s living room couch. He was with me for just a few weeks after we moved to our new home, but left. I was sad to lose him. These days, if an adult endorsed an imaginary friend – someone would worry about psychosis. But do you sometimes wonder if living in reality absent from time to imagine is a root of some of our problems? On the beach, looking at the sand sculptures, the sand ruins, the changing colors of the sunset, the changing configuration of kelp on the shore, the different strength of waves crashing on the beach, it is natural to have one’s mind wander. I think this is healthy.
Was this earthen mound meant to be a volcano? Was it a fortress? I found a single green plastic dinosaur nearby, and no child in sight. Do you think a child was creating a scene from the last mass extinction?
I leave you with this scene from several days ago. As I walked along the beach, this family was ending their work for the day. True imagineers. The instinct to build predates legos and minecraft, and all you need is water and sand. I left the beach smiling to return to my own family in time for dinner.