The Living Beach
Life, Death and Politics Where the Land Meets the SeaBook - 2014
How do beaches function? Where do the waves come from, and why are they always parallel to the shore, no matter which way the shore faces? Where does sand come from, and why are some beaches grey, some white, some beige? What plants and animals live there, and how do they deal with this harsh, plastic environment?
And what do beaches mean to humans? Arrivals and departures, invasions and migrations, the first contact between the explorers and the indigenous peoples -- they all take place in that sandy zone where the sea meets the land. When a film actor walks alone on a beach, the viewer knows s/he is contemplating change or reacting to it. On the summer sands, bishops and judges and executives become children again, building structures which they know the sea will destroy.
Silver Donald Cameron uses a study of the elements of the beach to build a case for the beach as an integrated, living entity in its own right, and a model for the unity of all things on Earth. More than a tour of the eastern and western shores of North America, Cameron's book leads his readers to an awakening of the processes of life around us. The author begins with the science of waves and sand, and gradu�ally reveals the inter-relatedness of all the habitues of the beach. The final destination is an understanding of how all living things are woven together in the fabric of life and what that means for "the stew�ards of the Earth". He lives in Halifax.