As I’ve mentioned a couple of times before, I am quite the beachcomber now that I live here on the Lake Erie shore. And one of the things I enjoy most is finding pieces of beachglass. Now, official beachglass experts (or seaglass, as it's more frequently called, even though it can be found on freshwater beaches of the Great Lakes) have studied the subject to great length, depth and breadth, and can tell you all the colors to be found, and how rare or common each color is. They can even say how many bits of glass it might take you to find a certain color, e.g. one is every 10,000 pieces seen and/or collected might produce a piece of orange – the rarest color. I don’t know about some of that info, I found a pretty rare color after just a few walks (and probably only a couple hundred pieces seen). Not that it matters, really. The joy is in the surroundings, playing tag with the waves, feeling the breeze, hearing the gulls…and finding a wave-frosted prize in the sand.
After looking at the chart of beachglass colors I realized that the really spectacular colors are becoming quite rare. For one thing, there’s not as much glass as there used to be. Plastic has replaced much so many of the glass containers of old, and along with that, the colors of glass available today are pretty much clear, brown and green. And then there’s recycling. Soon after that insight, while cupping my day’s collection of deep cobalt blue, bright turquoise, and buttery yellow in my palm, I formed an idea. I decided to haunt yard sales and thrift shops, and buy up as many glass items in red, cobalt and other jewel colors as I could find, and then when I had a big bag filled with them, I’d take them out into the lake and release them into the waves. I know it’s littering, but really, what’s glass but sand anyway. And eventually, if no one finds it, the beachglass will be ground away to nothing. But I like to think that in forty or fifty years, someone else will be walking along the beach and stoop to pick up a beautiful red nugget, be amazed, and wonder how it got there. I wonder about that now, only I know what I find probably went into the lake as someone’s trash. The future person who finds mine won’t know it, but it was put there just for them.
The Cloud Messenger (Meghadūta) is a lyric poem by the respected Indian poet, Kālidāsa. The poem centers around a yaksa in exile. Longing for his beloved, waiting for him on a Himalayan mountain, he asks a cloud to take a message to her. The sights he tells the cloud it will see on its way make up most of the poem.
The idea of recording observations appeals to me. I thought The Cloud Messenger was the perfect title for a blog about the journey that we all make as we move through our days.
I'm a baby boomer who grew up dancing in the streets of Detroit during the classic Motown years, lived beside the Rocky Mountains for many years, now retired and living (and writing full time) in S. Ontario. I have one blog for rock 'n' roll oldies, and one for nature, poetry and life along the Lake.