TRASH TO TREASURE
Have you ever heard the saying “One Man’s Trash Is Another Man’s Treasure”? I haven’t come across that statement in a while but it was the first thing that came to mind after visiting Aliso Beach two consecutive weekends in a scene representing trash to treasure.
We have experienced a rainy season for the record books. I hate to say it but rain and Southern California are like an oxymoron most seasons. This winter has proven to be a very memorable one for weather, rain and snow. While it’s anyone’s guess as to whether or not the wet season is over, the snow pack has been measured well over 100% of normal, California dams have been stressed to near breaking points and roads have been washed away with cars overcome by torrents of water under heavy downpours. Our local Southern California Beaches, including Aliso Beach, Laguna, are on the receiving end of all the runoff and whatever it carries down stream from storm drains, washes, creeks and rivers. With significant rain over short periods of time, you can imagine all the things swept down into our ocean and deposited back on our beaches. Plastics, bottles, toys, wrappers, bottle caps, cigarette butts, styrofoam cups, baggies and even dreaded syringes as seen recently in Newport Beach near the River Jetties. Also ending up on the beach from heavy rain and wind events were leaves, twigs, tree branches, logs and driftwood. At times it seems like you could take a rake to the top layer of the ocean surface along our coastline, and those logs and branches put wave riders at risk of serious injury.
That first trip to Aliso Beach, there was an unsightly pile of wood and branches just south of the main lifeguard tower. It was, however, cleared from the beach and shoreline and staged for removal. This is where the ingenuity of a father spending time with his son transformed the debris from trash to treasure. I had no doubt the County of Orange, who does a great job of maintaining Aliso Beach, was going to come in and remove the pile of wood. Probably because of consecutive days of rain, they were unable to get the debris out of there, or they figured they would add to the pile during additional rain events so they could clean up the beach all at once. It is completely logical to me. The picture to the left shows the wood all piled up steps from the parking lot and ready to be hauled out of there. Given that our winters in recent years have not produced much rain, it was somewhat surprising to see a pike of branches and wood like that on the beach. Some of the branches were substantial, and with all of the trees that came down in South Orange County along the coastline, it really wasn’t any surprise to see that kind and volume of wood deposited on the beach. I am wondering if the Full Moon Drum Circle group saw that pile of wood. It would have made for a great night with plenty of wood to keep everyone warm!
While the pile of wood certainly wasn’t hurting anyone, a father and a son went on a building spree. They took the larger wood pieces and buried them vertically in the sand. I was surprised that with the girth of the branches that the sand would keep them standing upright. As far as I know, no one was injured in the evolution of trash to treasure in what I call the making of an Aliso Beach fort. I have to admire the father. It takes the ability of a parent to think creatively like a child to entertain a child. I remember how much I liked forts as a kid, and to be child-like was worthy of my attention and a smile. In that moment, it felt like all was right in the world and that everything was okay.
The picture below, is the result of a creative father showing his son a good time. It was cool to think back to my own childhood and how forts at summer camp at home were a big part of my own childhood! My guess, by the looks of him, is that the little dude had a really good time! I was truly happy for them and grateful to be under the smiling eyes of Mr. Sun. Is it summer yet?