A beach of glass pebbles

We always see our past mistakes and “dark days” as something to be ashamed of. But, you see bad things do not always lead to bad outcomes. Sometimes, good things come out of long days of hard work and a simple stroke of luck. Let me show you something that illustrates that good things do come out of a bad turn.

This is the Glass Beach in Fort Bragg, California. Do you see all the beautiful and colourful glass stones? There’s actually a very sad and interesting stories to it.

In the early 20th century, Fort Brag residents threw loads of garbage over the cliffs above this area. All kinds of refuse went into this ocean: household trash, waste, glass, cans, and even old cars. In 1949, the area around Glass Beach turned into a public dump. Sometimes, when the trash pile became too much that fires were lit to reduce its size. Eventually, California realized that dumping automobiles, appliances, toxic substances and razor sharp shards of glass into the water was probably a bad idea and looked elsewhere for a dumping site. In 1967, the city leaders closed the area. Fortunately, there’s something bigger than us mere humans. Despite our obviously brilliant handling of the situation, Mother Earth had a few tricks up her sleeve, and spent the next 30 years tumbling away the jagged edges of our insensitivity. Over a few decades, pounding waves cleansed the beach until it wore down the discarded glass into small, smooth, coloured trinkets and left behind brilliant pebbles of polished glass which cover the beach today. Now, in Glass Beach, so much sea glass smothers this hidden shoreline that you might think a truck unloaded shimmering shards all over its rocky coves.

Since then, the place has become a beachcombers’ paradise and a living science lesson in one. When you stand on it, you’ll feel like a leprechaun standing on something more enthralling than a pile of gold. Years of surf have polished these gems to a muffles shine. While a soft tide glides over, the glass underneath your feet sparkle in colours of emerald, ocher, amber, and ruby. Scoop a handful and you’ll have a kaleidoscope of shapes and colours (and maybe some seaweed and metals and electrical stuff) at the palm of your hands! It’s amazing how nature works huh?

Having had said all these, it doesn’t mean that we have to throw our trash into the ocean, accumulate them, and burn them. Sometimes, not ALL the time, things just come as a blessing in disguise.

Photo credits


One thought on “A beach of glass pebbles

  1. Glass Beach is one of our favorite getaways. We first visited during the days when of cars and appliances were still visible in the dump site. We’ve visited since the clean up, too. Sunrise on the “sand” is absolutely magical. Thanks for sharing!

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