Posted by: arminlav1 | September 22, 2011

The Beach

The day was cloudy and had the feel of coming rain.  There was strong wind coming from the sea and yet, it was as if I was the only one who noticed the wind.  Still, there were people fishing, waiting for their opportunity to bring in the catch of the day. I, too, joined them, and sought to catch a fish. The Jacksonville Beach Pier seemed to bear our weight with dignity.  People were not paying to each other, but instead, focused on the fishing rods/lures/nets while their thoughts were somewhere other than the Pier.  The ocean is truly vast while looking at it from the Pier, I realized how insignificant we humans truly are compared to something so large in proportion.   After what seemed to be hours, and in reality only 30 minutes, without catching anything, I had the feeling that I was like Santiago in the ‘ Old man and the Sea.’  The seagulls came and their squawking ‘GAW GAW’ brought me back to the Pier, for I must have gone somewhere in my mind.  The seagulls circled the Pier, perhaps smelling the shrimp, pieces of meat, bread and other pieces of food used for bait.  No one really paid much attention to them, except me and the boy, whose father was too busy preparing a new bait to be put on the hook.  When reading Carson, she mentioned how the gulls make their living from the sea. In a sense, I see, they are very opportunistic birds.  A brave seagull would land on the Pier, from time to time, while the others would circle and keenly observe me and the others.  It seemed the fish were not biting, because I have not caught anything.  The boy’s father had better luck-his catch was two fish which he seemed pleased about.  To reward the ocean for his catch, the man finished his beer and threw the bottle into the Atlantic.

The relation between the human beings and the natural world seems to be on collision course.  Ecocriticism is is vast-it contains multitudes.  One of the key aspects ASLE tries to do is to educate the public. According to Scott Slavic, the “notion that environmental literature is exclusively American subject holds little water.”  I agree. We, as human beings cannot expect oceans to be plentiful and bountiful forever. In fact, ocean species are being depleted every day, with some fish being on the extinction, such as the Bluefin tuna.   Oceans need to stay clean, and free of human waste.  It starts with everyone!  Of course, keeping oceans clean starts in our own backyard. I cleaned up my part-I left the Pier as I arrived, however, if other people don’t do the same, then, imagine what is happening in other places, other piers, other countries if someone is careless?  Perhaps if we make a pact-if the world comes together to address the issue of depletion of oceans or some ecological issue that will in fact, in the future, affect all of us, perhaps there is hope for us.  We know more about space than we do about our very own oceans.  As Rachel Carson puts it, “to stand at the edge of the sea, to sense the ebb and the flow of the tides, to feel the breath of a mist moving over a great salt marsh, to watch the flight of shore birds that have swept up and down the surf lines of the continents for untold thousands of years, is to have knowledge of things that are as nearly eternal as any earthly life can be.”

 

-Armin Stojadinovic-

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