Sometimes I am engrossed in something interesting, and I discover something else equally fascinating that just appears in my experience. That is what happened as I began searching for sea glass recently (see my previous post). As I searched the beach for sea glass, I began to notice small pieces of tile washed up on the shore. Many different sizes and shapes could be seen, but none more than about four inches in length or width. Most were very small. Some were very worn by the water action and salt, and others looked fairly new.
I became as intrigued with these tiles as I was with sea glass, so I began to collect them as I also searched for sea glass. Morning after morning, my plastic container is filled with a combination of sea glass and sea tiles at the end of my walks. Each day, I set them out on the patio table (after rinsing them well) to see the array of colors and shapes.
As I do with sea glass, I wonder what the history of each piece is.
Did some husband buy the wrong tile for the kitchen, and so he hauled the tiles into his boat, went out to sea, and dumped the tiles so his wife would be happy?
Did a store completely refurbish their inventory of tiles and dump the old tiles into the sea?
Did a tile worker carelessly dump the old tiles from a kitchen makeover into the sea rather than seek out a landfill?
Is there a secret tile-making factory under the sea where the workers throw the reject pieces out the windows?
Of course, I may never know, but I wonder.
I do a lot of wondering while living in another culture. Sometimes I wonder at the reasons why people do things. Sometimes I wonder what words mean. Sometimes I wonder why people think the way they do. Sometimes I wonder how I will solve a problem that my North American logic can’t wrap its head around.
Wondering is a delightful activity when its accompanied by a sense of adventure, by an open and inquisitive mind, and by a genuine desire to learn without judgment.
I’m still wondering about the tiles…….I think I’ll start asking some of my local friends – almost always the best idea when living overseas.
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