Thursday, June 20, 2013

Thanks Be to King Triton

I promised King Triton I would thank Him if He gave me some sea glass today on this, my first day of summer vacation. But the message I brought back from the Jersey Shore was the same one Triton always delivers: He is not to be trifled with.

Pulling a few trinkets from the drink does not bother Triton, nor does it please Him. He's indifferent to sea glass. But He's none too keen on cheeky humans who build houses and hotels on islands that are supposed to shift with His every fit of temper.

Well, it was a gorgeous day at the Jersey Shore today, and there were plenty of beach-combers. The sea glass beaches are in a residential area, not along the casino-clogged avenues. Thus it's easy to strike up conversations with people around and about there.

What I brought home today were a few pieces of sea glass and three stories of Hurricane Sandy. One lady who was also looking for sea glass said the whole first floor of her home was destroyed. She had to build bonfires on her patio to keep warm, and all the repairs are still undone. She evacuated, but she was allowed in sooner than others, because she works for the state police. Another lady (not the brightest bulb, no offense) said she refused to evacuate. A parking garage was allowing people to park their cars on higher levels for free, so when she saw the water lapping at her tires, she moved the car to the garage. Then she took the elevator down. Door opened to a gush of water, knee-high. Even this did not encourage our brave heroine to seek higher ground. Oh well, she's alive -- proof that you absolutely don't have to follow sage advice if Triton decides He'd rather give you up to some other deity.

The third story is mine. I was sitting alone on a deserted stretch of un-swimmable beach when a dude hollered down to me from the boardwalk. He had seen me beach combing and wanted to know what I was looking for. I told him about sea glass. He had never heard of it. And he grew up in Atlantic City! Long story short, we got to talking, and I said I couldn't bring myself to beach comb after the storm because I couldn't bring myself to take pleasure from the shoreline when so many people were suffering. The dude gave me some serious props and said he wished there were more people like me in the world. We both agreed that we live in a world of self-centered, greedy people who don't have the common good in mind. I told him I planned to spend what money I could at the Jersey Shore this summer to help the economy. But I sure am not going to resuscitate New Jersey with my little sack of ducats. Anyhow, the dude was really nice. He made me feel good about being there.

We've had unusually clement weather as Solstice is upon us, and even the Jersey Shore was absolutely brilliant today ... beaches littered with people looking for glass, jetties lined with fishermen, little kids cavorting in the water. Made it easy to overlook the stray disposable razor at the water's edge. When you live in Jersey, you don't consider a beach visit complete without seeing, or stepping on, something with a really sharp edge. It's how we roll.

Blessed be Triton, mighty God of the briny deep! Blessed be New Jersey, the state that defies the sea!

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