There are small cliffs that overlook the ocean in northern Pacific Beach, where I frequently walk at night. On the cliffs are grass areas for people to hang out and sidewalks for people to walk, jog, or bicycle along the ocean.
On some nights a man will stand on the grass and create soap bubbles that are carried along the sidewalk by the ocean breeze. He creates the bubbles by first dipping two fishing poles, tied together by two strings, into a giant bucket of soapy water. Then he holds the poles out in front of his body and opens them up. The wind blows through the strings and creates the bubbles. The bubbles are of all different sizes and shapes. They can be as big as three feet long or as small as an inch in diameter.
The bubble man brings a lot of joy to people. The children who are walking along the ocean with their parents stop and play with the bubbles as long as their parents will allow. They try to pop them or chase them down the sidewalk. I watch the children playing and can feel how happy they are, which of course makes me happy.
Some of the bubbles are carried a great distance before they pop. Some travel far along the ocean. Some go high above the condominium building near the grass.
When I see the bubbles I am reminded of the book God Speaks by Meher Baba. He uses the analogy of bubbles on the ocean to describe what happens to a soul when it appears in creation. A soul emerges from the infinite oneness and falls under the delusion of maya, which causes it to feel separate from the infinite. Though it feels separate, like a bubble floating on top of the ocean, it is always one with the infinite. After countless lifetimes the bubble pops and the individual soul realizes its oneness with the infinite, attaining liberation.
For some reason, I make a point of not popping any of the bubbles that float nearby. Perhaps each of them is a soul confined inside a rudimentary life form. And perhaps they are not. Yet either way, I try to enjoy each bubble for as long as possible before it disappears.