As I travelled down the coast of California to the Long Beach area, I had a striking, but sinking revelation. I stared outside the bus window as streams of color flashed before me. We were passing through industrial parks of enormous shipping zones filled with colorful rectangular crates.
It was as if we were stuck in an amusement park, with each area louder in color than the next. Left and right, we were surrounded with images of industrialization and man-made material. Huge cranes extended over the ocean for unpacking incoming shipments, ruining the pristine skyline. The sight was intensely futuristic and was unlike anything I have ever seen before. Coming from a largely suburban area where everything is underdeveloped, seeing this type of wide-scale industrial development put me in awe. The scene was straight out of a futuristic, Wall-E-type movie.
Even pictures cannot do justice the raw emotions I felt upon looking at the endless sea of crates. One had to be there to experience how small and insignificant a human felt in retrospect to the towering piles of crates and cranes.
After driving through the mass of industrialization, our bus arrived at our destination– the beautiful Cabrillo Beach tide pools. We spent the day experiencing nature in its purest form, walking through atop of ancient rocks and looking out past the calm ocean. We observed the lowest of the low tides that swept up once every year. After learning about sea animals and plants in the aquatic museum, the experience was even more gratifying, since I was able to understand exactly what type of rock I was treading upon, and what sea life I was looking at. During this moment in time, I was immersed in the grasps of nature, fulling experiencing the calm and peace that it brought.
The stark contrast between the industrial park I had travelled through earlier in the day and the tide pools I had waded past in the afternoon was appalling. From the rocks of the beach, I could see the faint outline of huge ships and crates through the misty ocean fog. The two places, though relatively close in distance, could not be more different. Man’s creations and nature are two entirely different worlds. And as I stood on the edge of the rocks bordering the ocean and glanced at the lofty buildings in the distance, I felt as though I was trapped in the middle of the two worlds– the world of man and the world of nature– each threatening to engulf me into nothingness.