Do you look for omens, or do you consider them superstitious rot?
If the latter, you might not feel too at home here at "The Gods Are Bored." Go play with your chemistry set.
Farmers are very prone to looking for omens. Heck, they have an Almanac full of them, published every year!
On Saturday I set out looking for an omen.
I live about 50 miles inland from the Atlantic. Even after 20 years, this is still a phenomenon to me. When I was in my formative years, a trip to the beach was an all-day affair that involved the Chesapeake Bay Bridge and a long trudge across the Eastern Shore of Maryland. It took five hours to drive to the shore from where I lived.
Now I can get there in an hour, if I drive due east (which puts me amongst the casinos in AC).
On Saturday, very early, I set out to collect sea glass with a colleague of mine from the Vo-Tech. We had arranged to meet at a diner halfway between my house and the seacoast. From there she was going to take me to her secret beaches in Atlantic City where she finds scads of sea glass.
Driving toward the diner, I asked for an omen as to how I could bond with the beach.
In the past I have never liked the seashore much. Growing up with a bipolar mom who wanted to vacation there, a mom who didn't believe in seasickness or a fear of those rough Atlantic waves, I have always had a slight inner aversion to the coastline. But that is the destination around here. Wanna have fun, yo, go to da shore.
The bored gods lost no time in giving me Their sign.
Arriving at the diner, I discovered that I was expected to ride in the back seat of my colleague's red SUV. On the agenda: sea glass AND five estate sales.
It was a stunning day at the beach, sunny and about 50 degrees. But the sea glass expert quickly (and accurately) diagnosed her choice areas as not being very good on this day. Still we climbed over pilings and over rocks to get to the jetties... not an easy task for a trio of middle-aged school teachers. As I jumped down next to a piling, I got pinioned on it and tore my favorite pair of jeans. I was lucky I didn't get a four-inch splinter in my thigh.
That's all the omen I needed, right there.
The bored gods thought otherwise. They sent that red SUV the length and breadth of Atlantic City and Ocean City, mile after mile of disastrously over-built shoreline, into the homes of people who had died, whose accumulation of stuff was up for sale. Then on into the Pine Barrens, for another pair of homes under similar dire straits.
I went looking for sea glass and came home with three pairs of scissors and a glass salad bowl. And some sea glass -- not much. And an ugly gash in a pair of jeans I have had for a decade.
The bored gods have spoken. I can listen to Quadrophenia as often as I like, but the beach is not the place for me. The omens are clear. Clear as the water running through Terrapin Run.