On a break from the constant rain of the last few days, I set off for a wet ride to the beach.
The bike path from town was mostly clear, but there were a few flooded spots. No matter. All things considered, it was a fantastic ride. It was cool for a change.
At the sea, I prayed for God’s will for Me and the Power to carry that out.
And then, I couldn’t take my eyes off of the plastic all over the beach. Everywhere. Stuck in the sargassum that washed ashore from the storms. From water bottles to toothbrushes to a flashlight case to who-knows-what-the-heck-those-chunky-plastic-pieces-were-at-one-time.
Then there are the hard, small plastic bits. They are broken, toxic shells.
These tiny bits always litter the sand on the north end of Tulum, and to some extent, the south end, though they clean the beach with more vigor at the south end because of the high-end accommodations.
But on this day, there were so many man-made plastic shells, you couldn’t look more than half a foot and not see a bunch. Pick a spot, any spot, in the sand and draw a circle around yourself with your foot. If you took a strainer, there is potential to pick up hundreds of plastic bits.
All photos are taken as is – I moved nothing. I did take creative license with the color on some of them, however.
It breaks my heart. Humans are addicted to convenience because we have become lazy, and also greedy to have more – more ease, more comfort, more status, more stuff. Plastic is affordable. It makes the relative Haves feel like they can have relatively more.
Deep down, everyone knows this is a problem. No one knows what to do. There won’t be a simple answer because the Haves of the world won’t easily give up the convenience of using plastic bags, bottles and products.
While I took pictures with my iPhone, people came up to ask what I was doing. I must have looked ridiculous – squatting in the sand to examine and photograph trash/toxic man-made shells stuck in seaweed and sand.
A couple of expats who live here now, and who are tuned in to this trouble. A man who didn’t care, and who offered to cheer me up by swimming with me. A family making the most of a rainy, windy day at the beach by flying a kite. What will the beach look like when those kids are my age?
I remember coming to Tulum and the beaches – north and south – were amazing. Like God opened a bag of powdered sugar and poured it by the blue Caribbean Sea for us to play on. It wasn’t that long ago – just a decade.
Don’t get me wrong – Tulum’s beaches are still beautiful – but for how long? Trash is a problem in town, but this stuff is coming in from the sea from God knows where.
Maybe the sargassum is God’s/Nature’s cleaning scrubbie. The seaweed seems to capture trash and bring it ashore. The Mexicans have done a pretty good job cleaning up the seaweed and the larger plastic parts it captures.
I don’t know God’s will or how Nature’s rhythms work on Earth. But I do know this: my vibration has changed. As a former objective journalist, who painstakingly kept emotion and opinion out of my work, I cannot ever report or produce anything going forward that would not speak to the truth of how we humans are screwing up our home.
I would work as an advocacy journalist for Planet Earth, to help people get their heads out of the sand.