Imagine you are walking on a beach, you see a bottle lying there in the sand, you walk over, and inside you notice a piece of paper. Suddenly what was just junk on a beach becomes something much more! You have found a message in a bottle!
Finding a message in a bottle was one of my childhood goals. Something about the magic of finding something somebody thousands of miles away set afloat years before with no intended receiver but a stranger on a beach somewhere was captivating.
I was never one of the seemingly fortunate few able to find my message somewhere out there. In fact, up until recently, I didn’t realize you could ever find more than one bottle in a lifetime (if you were lucky). As it turns out, becoming a message hunter isn’t as random and complicated as it may seem! Today we will introduce you to a man who has made a science of finding messages in bottles, and along the way, he has amassed a collection of 83 messages!
Yes, 83 messages in bottles. For somebody whose most interesting beach find has been a shark tooth, that seems like an incredible amount.
The magic of finding a message in a bottle is part science, part adventure, and part marvelous human connection.
Here’s Vox with this fascinating bit of modern day treasure hunting.
Connection can be found in all kinds of unexpected places.
Maybe the idea of a message in a bottle captures our imagination because it is, at its core, a story of connection. Imagining the stranger who threw their bottle into the sea thousands of miles away is a wonderful image to conjure. The idea that two people can be connected in such a seemingly random way is fun to dream about.
In seeking connection these days, if feels like the internet is far too often our first choice. I find myself many times a day glancing at my phone for an Instagram like, endlessly checking my email, or mindlessly scrolling through Facebook. Maybe the fact that feel the need to check these outlets so often should hint at how little connection actually comes from these sources.
What if we were to take a page out of the magical nature of the message in a bottle? What if we saw the people we interact with, face to face, as–and if you’ll pardon metaphor here–as bottles washing up in our lives, each with their own potential to carry a message. If we approached every interaction with openness curiosity we would probably find ourselves making connections we never dreamed possible.
So, maybe we won’t all become expert bottle hunters, but we can certainly all become message finders simply by finding wonder in the people sitting next to us.
Stay beautiful & keep laughing!
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