TBT (Thinking back to Thursday) when I did my first Solo Beach Clean up. I did not really think what I was doing was extraordinary, I was doing what I love to do: protect and try to administer well this planet. But I was in fact doing something so out of the ordinary that many people did not even care to know. They liked
the pictures I shared on Facebook , they saw me as they walked passed on the beach, they went down to the beach and played, but not once did someone ask if they could help. Not one of them answered to the invitation positively the second day. Not once did someone say, I will do it, even though I can’t join you this time. And I was actually not affected by it. I just thought at least I was doing what I thought was right. I was thinking maybe others did not have time. I was wondering if I was at fault for giving such short notice. But I was feeling OK. Not over the moon, not under the weather, just OK.
Until yesterday, #Day3 of the clean up, when my sister joined me down at the beach. It was raining but she had come running behind me and said she would join. We walked down as the rubbish truck was picking up the rubbish from the bins by the beach huts. I held a plastic bag (the same one I had used for days 1 and 2) in one hand, she on the other hand, brought nothing. Just her helpful self. And as we started cleaning up and counting every bit we found, it hit me. I was being part of someone’s first beach clean up. I had impacted someone’s life in a positive way. And it did not matter if it was my sister or anyone else but she was starting to be the change that I wanted to see in the world. That chain that had started with me now had another link. And then, when we summed up what we had collected (362 items), which was more than 2ce as much as the 2 first days (157 and 184 respectively) I started to see it. Of course I was making an impact and it did not matter if no one else joined. Because through this experience I have already learned a lot.
First of all I have remembered that every action counts. Every microplastic collected, every balloon thrown back into where it belongs, every bottle recycled is one less threat to this world, to it’s inhabitants.
I have also realized that although people may not want to clean they might at least change their ways. Not everyone has to clean but we can all avoid this mess. People can act from the source.They might buy less plastic, play with less balloons, pick up their own rubbish and most of all start to be the change that they want to see in the world.
And last but not least I have re sparked that love for nature that I always had in me but had somehow had a rest. I have seen again that there is much to do, much to learn and much to live.
With is newly sparked flame I go off to my 4th beach clean up of this week. I wish I had done this earlier, I which I had given others more time to act, I wish that I had managed to do the whole length of the beach, I wish it were not so dirty with the tide coming in every day, I wish those animals did not eat the plastic, I wish plastic bags were illegal, … I WISH…
But in the midst of all this wishing I am committing, I am acting, I am excited, I am worried, I am conscious, I am thankful, I am ready. And of course I am crazy. Crazy to think that some day people will not want plastic in their lives. Crazy to imagine animals out of danger from human traces. Crazy to want a trash free world. Crazy to think of my actions as significative. But as Dr. Seuss once said “Being crazy isn’t enough.”. I have to bounce of that crazy, make it my goal to reach those dreams … Because once you start it is not as hard as it seems. The tide may thrash trash but my arms are still there to catch what is washed ahore. And my legs are still around to help those animals be safe and sound. My eyes are still there to see what matters to me. My ears are still there to hear those cries like spears of an agonizing sea full of trash from you and me. My fingers are still there to write and proclaim my fright. But I know if I keep up he fight, one day I will delight in the beauty of the planet with no plastic bag to mar it.