“We are the music makers and We are the dreamers that dream. Ba da da…Ba da da…” Willy Wonka
In a world of pure Imagination the remix instrumental playing by piano in my ears brought me back to the days when the beach was my the home of my one true love. We’d wake up early to go all the way out to Zuma every single day of the week during the summer from as far back as I can remember, didn’t matter what the weather we were there, swimming in the waves, boogie boarding, building elaborate sand castles, and elating in the wonders of the tidalness. Sometimes, when the seasons would start to change and it would get darker sooner, the wind would kick up like it is today. We would just anchor our umbrella like a tent and use our towels to try to shield our exposed skin from the sand as it took to flight. The seagulls loved to hover over me when I’d eat my snacks just hoping for my crumbs. From dawn to dusk the beach was our home.
As I listened to such an evocative remix in Pure Imagination and made for the shoreline today, I was reminded of those days when the sand nipped your ankles and seagulls hung overhead. I love LA after it rains, it’s like she gets a long needed breath of fresh air and the life that surrounds her gains reprieve from her hardened lifestyle. Every time I know we’ve gone a while between rains I try my best to head out to my beloved to give her a hand. In the past few years every single thing that I use in my house that is made of plastic I find at the beach when I go to clean her up. It astounds me. I find things from my past, from my present, and likely from my future. Since I’ve been doing this for a while now I really just wanted to revel in the wind, it’s like a break from everything for me when I get to stare into the sun skipping along the waves. The wind’s strength and cleanly gusts were washing the burdens of life from my skin and I loved it. As soon as I made it to the sand I could see untouched ripples all along the sand dunes, so pure, so dainty.
Jumping into the untouched land I felt like I was stepping onto Mars for the first time, and it felt joyous. Sha Boom Sha Boom…. Life Could Be A Dream… sha na na na na na… I usually approach the beach with open arms, and embrace her misfortune after it rains. It’s not her fault that we have forgotten how instrumental she was in our childhood or how therapeutic she is now, it’s not her fault that everything we use and everything we make ends up in her waters littering her sands. Walking along a large outlet from land to the sea I began to see her wide open gaping wound still bleeding with plastic and trash. My plan of attack is to find a plastic bag. I’m always nervous when I start looking for a bag because I feel like I’m passing so much trash and leaving it behind me which is not what I’m there to do, but every time, I surprise myself with how quickly I find one intact and easy to fill. Within the first 5 feet of a straight line I counted 100 cigarette butts that I picked up, then I stopped counting. After I filled up my little cheetah print bag with cigarette butts simply pacing the same little plot of sand I kind of gave up on the counting.
Oh. My. God! Wholly Crap! No way. Out of nowhere and suddenly kind of magically and completely organically I picked up my head and saw two other people picking up trash? Through the wind that would blow bags from fingers, and conditions that are far from ideal: other people started cleaning the beach right by me. I have never once been joined by people picking up trash, not once. I walked over to the trash can and dumped my full bag and continued picking up more and more plastic and cigarette butts. Then, are you serious? more people? This can’t be a coincidence. They have to be associated with something don’t they? I was suddenly like a part of a whole group of people picking up trash, suddenly all the tons of plastic bottles and huge pieces of trash were disappearing before my eyes! I could focus on the little things like Styrofoam packaging which was really pissing me off and hidden ribbons or tiny plastic balls that look like fish eggs. Then one of the girls came over and introduced herself to me and I to her and it turns out that I was integrating with #HealtheBay and a part of their Storm Response Team or vise versa.
In my break from activism for today I found myself surrounded by friendly and familiar faces again, and am honored to align myself with the Storm Response Team uniting efforts because we ARE stronger together.
My starting bag and a footprint of a person who had come before me leaving all the trash:
The Storm Drain:
The Coast line:
The ocean spitting back at us as she does when we treat her the way we do:
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