Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Flotsam and Jetsam



It isn't the big things that I look forward to when going on vacation, it is the little things.
I don't much care how these islands were discovered and settled 10,000 years ago or how the first Europeans “discovered” them a few hundred years ago. I suspect that my ancestors have been here before bringing trade goods and disease with them. Now, we just bring money and a seemingly insatiable thirst to get a tan and buy crap that we wouldn't waste our money on back home. I don't really care how those same Europeans brought together all sorts of nationalities and exploited them equally, without a care for nationality or the colour of their skin. My people were bastards to them all.
I like to see how the people live now. I like to watch what they buy in the grocery stores and how they interact with their kids. Families are families no matter where they are located. I like to watch how the locals separate the tourists from their money. I don't like being separated from my money, but that is the way it goes. I like to walk along the beach and watch the waves roll in, day in and day out. I like to watch the other people walking along the beach watching the waves roll in day in and day out. The thing that I like most of all is to look at the flotsam and jetsam that the high tide has washed up.
Where we are it is mainly small pieces of shells, some small bits of wood, sea weed of different types, tiny stones, the odd dead fish and sometimes if I am lucky, a piece of shiny beach glass. I like the beach glass because someone tossed an empty into the ocean and due to the motion of the waves and sand it has emerged as something beautiful and wondrous. I met a lady on the beach that has been collecting beach glass for years and she knows more than anyone should know about beach glass. She talked about how the modern bottles aren't thick enough to withstand the waves so beach glass is becoming less and less common. It is either that or people have stopped tossing their empties into the ocean. Hahahahahahahahahahahaha!

Last night I was out watching the waves come in and looking up at the sky. I don't think the sky is any larger in Hawaii, but there does seem to be more stars crammed into the same space. I don't know much about the stars and constellations, but I wish I did. I know the Big and Little dipper, Orion’s belt, the North Star and just a few others. Sometimes I can see a satellite moving around the earth, and because of that satellite I can watch NCIS on Tuesday nights. If I am really lucky I will see a shooting star and get to make a wish. Lately I have come to understand that most of my wishes have come true. I have a loving family (mostly), good health, enough money to live on, friends that like me in spite myself and I have been blessed with painfully good looks.
Looking up at the sky last night, I remembered that our sun is part of the Milky Way galaxy. The Milky Way is composed of 200 to 400 billion stars and is between 100,000 to 120,000 light years across. Our sun is located towards the outer edge of the galaxy. I suppose that we are not very important as far as solar systems go. In fact, we just might be some cosmic flotsam and jetsam that washed up at the edge of the galaxy. We probably aren't of much interest to anyone except for a few eccentrics that can see a value in a bit of shiny glass or a tiny shell that just appeared one day and will disappear tomorrow.

I guess I am good with that.

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