[36] Bean There, Phillip Barcio

The tiny purple flowers covering the vines we planted two months ago spontaneously blorped into vegetables last night.

The Bean Inspector confirmed their identity.

July 15th will now forever be known as Bean Day.

Audrey and I drove south, down Highway 1, summer gently pulling us along, like old dogs on a sniffy walk around an endless, meandering, fire hydrant-covered avenue. We stopped in the beach town of Capitola where a strip of Froot Loop-colored crash pads stand sentinel over a patch of sandy earth colonized by seals and surfers.

Lounging seaside we found three pieces of something called sea glass, a highly collectible item according to a passing Beach Bum.

Sea glass doesn’t start out as a gem. It starts as trash. A bottle gets thrown in the ocean by some accidental artisan; the glass shatters on the rocks and gets tossed around by the tides for years, maybe decades, until it is finally redeposited on the shore, by which point the waves have caressed it into a smooth, translucent bijou.

Every beach evidently has its share of sea glass waiting to be found. Isn’t that something?

The Beach Bum notified us that if we had gone north instead of south, we might have come across the biggest deposit of sea glass in North America: Fort Bragg’s famous Glass Beach, an entire shoreline covered inches deep in colorful, glistening, wave-worn glass, thanks to a nearby city dump supplied with a non-stop reservoir of bottles emptied by thirsty soldiers in training.

Over tacos, Audrey and I made plans to drive north next year on this day, like the beach Bum suggested, and visit the place where the garbage of war is transformed into shimmering love nuggets.

Another Bean Day in paradise awaits.

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