The tide was low again at Boundary Bay, and the sands stretched far ahead. As we hurried out, to get to the eelgrass beds before the tide turned, we passed a man carrying a couple of long, twisted branches across the bare sand. Something to do while the kids splashed in the pools, I guessed.
An hour later, on our way back, we could see some sort of structure ahead near the shore. I laughed, thinking about our human propensity to build, wherever we are, with or without a practical purpose or even a hope of durability. Small children on the beach make sand castles; a bit older, and they're building driftwood shelters and even small shacks. Adults usually just set out chairs and umbrellas; sometimes they mark off their "territory" on the sand with sketchy driftwood corner posts or erect a leafy shelter from the sun.
Sometimes they're more ambitious.
|Driftwood and crab design, artist anonymous|
The driftwood collector was nearby, with a group, children and adults, parents and (probably) grandparents. "I love your creation!" I said to him, as we passed.
A white-haired man with him turned, laughing. "It's called, 'Untitled 57'," he said. "And it's for sale; offer a few thousand, and we'll talk."
|"Untitled 57", detail|
Unfortunately, we weren't carrying cash. Nor were any of the other beachgoers we talked to at the boat ramp. The deal of a lifetime, available only until the tide came in and carried it away, missed!