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  • Writer's pictureColumbia Hillen

Message in a bottle

The romantic in me smiled at this image when I took the photo, and started imagining a story in which some melancholic soul across the ocean put a message in this bottle and through it in, with all the hopes and desperations of a heart. And the little goose barnacles hung on to the bottle to guide it to a soul mate and here it is, at my feet – so what’s the message?

columbia hillen photography,
Goose barnacles clinging to a beer bottle

The journalist in me got enraged, angry with our race for such ignorance with which we treat our waters; for cheating the tiny barnacles in thinking they had found a safe log to start their lives on, raise their children and be merry. It seems like the more advances we make to create more comforts for us as humans (like drink our beer from a bottle rather than a deer horn like our ancestors), the more uncomfortable we make all the other species. We all try to holiday on a deserted beach but I am sure the definition of deserted we are looking for is not a place deserted because it is a dump. So many beaches are still magnificent and perfect in their wilderness or their tameness. But sadly, more and more, they bear the stamp of excuses like "lack of funds for cleaning" - why not start with NOT littering them and we'll need no money for cleaning (but about that some other time)? And then the philosopher in me wonders whether this is what evolution is all about. Goose barnacles adapting to live clinging on bottles and rusted metal crates and plastic containers. Maybe one day even learn how to feed on those, turn into glass or metal goose barnacles. And how does evolution involve love in all of this process… beside the beautiful heart-shape of the barnacles, and the passion they hang on to each other… They say true love is unconditional, and nature obviously still loves us unconditionally - we are still populating this planet. Does this give us, humans, the right to reciprocate so little? What did these guys think when they got on board of this bottle and will they be some of the first to survive when mother nature finally says enough is enough?


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