I witnessed a scene that epitomized society and nature on a small scale and brought instant clarity. It also made me laugh so hard I thought I was going to bust a gut. And so, I’ll share the story.
The beach and nearshore waters were clear and clean, with just a slight breeze and a smiling sun beaming down on the scene. I was sitting on a rock at the top of the beach, tying some leaders for surf fishing.
A tasty and healthy meal of fish sounded nice and felt right because our fisheries management is done well with the goal of sustainability, which includes a calculated amount of fish for people to catch for the family table.
As I tied my leaders, a young couple walked by on their way to the middle of the beach. The guy was chatting away happily and carrying their blanket. The gal was rummaging through her bag, seemingly lost in her search for whatever it was she was trying to find in the bottom of that bag.
Just as they walked by me, a wadded-up piece of paper fell out of her tote. She kept right on walking and rummaging. The guy noticed it and scurried back to pick it up and stuff it in his pocket without missing a word in his talking streak.
I wondered if she was hearing a word he was saying, since she was so absorbed in the contents of her bag. As I watched them, half annoyed and half amused, a few other items spilled out of the woman’s satchel. She remained oblivious and kept walking. He continued to stop and pick up the fallen items, stuffing them into his pocket while continuing to talk.
I wandered up the beach the other way and caught several barred surfperch and a corbina, and was thinking about what a yummy meal these were going to make for the family. I was putting my gear away at the same rock near my car when the same couple walked by heading back to their car.
Not surprisingly, the scene hadn’t changed much, with him talking and her dropping stuff behind her. At one point, she actually noticed him picking up two of her discards in a row and looked up at him. She smiled sweetly and in her best singsong voice said, “Yes, I am a beautiful disaster!”
The guy stopped talking, looked at her and nodded in agreement. There may have been more said, but I was too busy laughing to hear. That young couple reminded me of our society in general, with those who discard trash and things carelessly and those of us who are always cleaning up the beach, or trail, or neighborhood. I guess it will always be so.
— Capt. David Bacon operates WaveWalker Charters and is president of SOFTIN Inc., a nonprofit organization providing seafaring opportunities for those in need. Visit softininc.blogspot.com to learn more about the organization and how you can help. Click here to read previous columns. The opinions expressed are his own.