I hate glass left on the beach.
It doesn’t just irritate me, I actually hate it, and that is a word I do not use lightly.
My strong reaction stems from a childhood trauma. When I was about 10 years old my family and I were on a camping trip along the Columbia River. It was a great trip, the weather was fabulous and my parents had allowed me to bring my best friend along.
My friend and I were having fun wading in the water when all of a sudden, she starts to scream. My dad rushed to our side and picked my friend up out of the water. Protruding from her foot was a two-inch piece of glass. The cut was bleeding like crazy and she was not dealing well with the pain and the red puddle.
My dad removed the glass, and it was obvious the cut needed medical attention as a tendon was visible. The nearest hospital was an hour away, but the car ride seemed to take forever as my friend cried and I sat beside her with her foot in my lap, applying pressure with my beach towel.
A family vacation was ended and a little girl spent the rest of the summer on crutches as the cut and the tendon healed.
And for what? Just because someone wanted to bring a bottle of beer to the beach and decided to toss it into the water or couldn’t be bothered to pick up the mess when they broke it.
Fast forward more years than I care to admit.
On Labour Day weekend, I headed out to one of my favourite spots near Syringa, set up my lawn chair and began to enjoy the sunshine and sound of water splashing on the shore. That is when the bright reflection caught my eye — the dreaded piece of glass.
Because it is a pet peeve of mine, I got up to collect the offending shard. I glanced around to see if there were any more pieces and in a span of five minutes over an area about six metres wide I picked up about 20 pieces of glass.
White, green, brown, the pieces varied in size and included the neck of a beer bottle.
So, here is my plea: if you bring a beverage to the beach — bring it in a can or in plastic and then take the container back home with you.
Stop littering the beautiful shoreline and putting the feet of happy beach goers in jeopardy.