I grew up in the dust-blown prairies, surrounded by waves of grain, but dreaming of the waves of the Pacific. The ocean has always held a romantic mystery for me. I imagined mermaids, Poseidon, and exciting underwater adventures. When I moved to Vancouver to be near the ocean, suddenly the water was no longer a mystical setting for pirate battles and tales of Atlantis but where I learned to surf and sail. It was whale-watching and snorkeling trips, the mighty Pacific had become my backyard. I fell in love with it completely.
I spent thirty days at the beach—a month straight—looking for inspiration for a story, but what I found was a case of the blues. Every day I saw the beach covered in garbage, and trash rolling around in the whitewash. It was depressing to know that, once high tide came in, all that abandoned junk would be washed into the ocean. A city’s supply of used coffee cups and discarded candy wrappers do not belong in the ocean, and it broke my heart to see it.
I shook off my depression, knowing that getting sad was not useful. I took responsibility and decided to do something about it. I increased my support of ocean-minded environmental groups. I learned about ocean conservation. Knowing that my notion that ‘someone has to do something about this’ was not enough, I accepted that ‘someone’ was me. It was up to me to do something for my ocean, my community, and myself. Now, several days a week, you can find me and my dog down at the beach, picking up trash along the shoreline and talking to interested passers-by about the difference they can make by doing their small part to help keep our oceans clean.
I’m not trying to be all preachy. But yeah – I am sick of pulling your old rollerblades/batteries/potted plants out of the ocean. Stop ditching all your old junk there. Or else put a rail on your boat so everything stops tipping off the sides.
Anyway – the above is something I wrote a while ago for a contest. I did NOT win said contest. But thanks anyway to the 136 people who wasted their time voting for me. I love entering contests and I refuse to learn my lesson no matter how many times I lose, have lost, will lose. No, I did not end up on the television show Wipeout!, I certainly wasn’t selected to be a part of that volunteer program in Brazil, nor did I win the sailing trip to the Great Bear Rainforest. Le sigh. No matter. I’m sure there will be another contest to enter sooner or later. I will gleefully enter knowing full well I will lose that one too. I only sort of care – I mean, of course I want to win all these contests, trips, and adventures. But I like the excitement of knowing I might win. My life might get exciting. But it’s my life…and I don’t ever really win at it. I just like thinking that perhaps one day I might.
Man, I am such a sucker for stuff like this….