A Walk On The Beach

By Matt Clarke

It’s always interesting taking a group of people on a tour of the island. You’re not lecturing, you’re guiding. Together, you and the group will experience something, and while most of it may not be new to you, there are always discoveries made on every tour.

When I take a group of people to the beach, it seems to be human instinct to gaze at the sand and pore over every smooth pebble and artefact that washes up on shore. I make no secret of the fact that I’m also doing the same thing. The shoreline is an awesome demonstration of the juxtaposition of two powerful elements, and if it’s not the sandy treasures that capture your attention, it’s certainly the endless roll of water crashing onto the shore. Sadly, beaches also provide a snapshot into how much human litter is ending up in our fresh water. Infamous beach whistles seem to persist on every beach, and deflated silver helium balloons often wash up on windy days to deliver tidings of graduations and wedding engagements. Water bottles and plastic bags serve as yet another reminder of our wasteful generation. The impact of seeing this trash interrupts our thoughts of beauty and perfection, but I believe this is a gift, not a curse. It’s all too easy to walk by a broken bottle and an old takeout container on the streets of our hometowns. It’s something we accept. But when you see something so perfectly beautiful as an unspoiled shoreline, with plastic litter on it, you really come to appreciate the impact that we’re all having on our delicate planet. I take great pleasure in sharing with everyone the beauty of this island, and it is my hope that they take away more than just a photograph.

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