Archive for April, 2009

sea-glass-hunt-3It’s been warm and wonderful and welcome weather here. For sea glass hunting, it couldn’t be better. I was out with a friend today and literally lost track of the time. It was fun to walk, talk, hunt and sit. We listened to words, the sea surf and it was a bit of adult hide and seek. My friend was new to the hunt and worried before catching her first if she’s catch any at all or go home “empty” without a fish or food from the line. But she caught plenty and had enough bounty to fill an already set aside place for her treasures. She enjoyed digging through rocks, putting hands to earth and plucking greens and browns and the blend in so well whites.

My brother and nephews and sister-in-law travled almost two hours to hunt the beach this weekend. Last week my dear friend and her husband came to hunt. I love that this place at the end of my street is a public attraction known about by those I love as well as those I have never met. People come for solitude or family time, to be out in the sun or away from busy minds and lives. People come to collect heart-shaped rocks or add to collections and everyone walks the same beach but not the same path.

Sea glass hunting has calmed and quieted my soul. I am fed and reached at the beach. Whatever parts of me feels clumsy or inept or socially awkward are washed away at the beach. For me, that’s how I imagine Catholic confession is for some, a place to come clean and to be re birthed in the same space. Some silent exchange happens and in short order the soul is revived. But there is no obligation or time table and what I contribute, besides an occasional beach cleaning isn’t so clear. What I get, is patience to parent better and perspective to be a bigger human. I get to drop small resentments like rocks being skipped and let larger questions float, tethered like boats to heavy anchors, but docked.

Anyhow, here are some photos of the treasures and a few at the end of the jewelry some pieces become.


This photo shows the range of sizes and colors and textures which can be found in a day.



Sometimes I like “chunky funky” pieces which are not completely soft. Some would consider these beach glass and not sea glass because not all three sides are sufficiently weathered. For jewelry though, I sometimes like the look that angles and edges bring. As with people, angular and edgy can be provocative and that can be positive or negative depending on your mood or taste. Here’s a piece of jewelry from the piece on the right.



This is from that same hunt and again, it’s not a piece everyone would want to wear. It is a large and chunky piece of dark green.

These next two photos show the two-sides pendant I made for someone special. I love it because each side is unique and a stand-alone piece and each side uses the same wire but holds the glass in different ways and because the glass colors are different the same bead at the top doesn’t even look the same. FUN!!!




Finally, I had so much fun taking this brown piece of glass, which is a common color, and making a delicate but strong piece of jewelry (again for someone special) who is a one-of-a-kind soul


Catch of the Day:Bounty, not mine alone, but enough to go around. This time last year I was struggling and feeling possessive about “my sea glass hunting” as though I owned the right to be passionate and people I introduced to the beach and the sea glass collecting and jewelry making couldn’t have their OWN feelings and passion too. I’ve learned a lot in a year about myself and what’s most important, what I like about myself as a friend and what I need to change. I know I need to be honest in my relationships and when I am resentments and conflicts turn into chances for transformation. And when there’s not room for true conversation, there’s no room for real change. I’ve quit too early and I’ve stayed too long. Finding balance is what I’m still figuring out.


Read Full Post »

My ocean is a city girl who knows the power of industry moving through her. Her waves are moved by commuter boats, cargo ships, coast guard vessles and sometimes sailboats and kayaks too. The beach I walk is public. No one is excluded. There are more rocks than sand. The ground is not flat but angled. She is sharp and rough and rocky. There are bones and sea moss and straw from bails meant to protect the sea wall. To me, she is the perfect sanctuary. If she were pristine and private and accessible only after I paid large sums of money to be near her I’m not sure I’d hold the same reverie.

Today, she is still, the waves come in and the sound is subtle, a dog slurping water, thirsty but not dehydrated. She’s not crashing the tide or throwing the waves on shore. She is as still as something fluid can be. The rocks seems to rest at the edge, sturdy and solid, as though meditating. They will bear the wet water and then dry, over and over, they know the drill.

The sun has not decided if it will shine. It plays hide and seek with clouds and the sky is filled with all weather possibilities at 7:00am. There are bright blue patches to the right with commanding rays of sun shinning from sky to ocean floor as though laser beams intending to make lines through the air. In other spots, to the left, there is bland blue gray covering entire islands. In the middle, hints of peach, pink and almost blue. Enormous clouds fill the sky. The one overhead looks like a fish with visible bones down the spine.

I hunt, and find little at first, and think, “a slow day at the beach.” Ninety minutes later, happy once again, to be wrong, my pockets are full.

Catch of the Day:

-a white marble with yellow on the inside. I think this is one of the marbles my nephews, prompted by their mom, purchased and tossed into the ocean. It was, a way to replenish the stock she and her sons and our families have taken such pleasure in hunting. I think, seasons later, and already with cloudy white from surfing the ocean I found one of their marbles.

-an actual blue, dark and small but distinct

-a huge dark green piece so worn and weathered it may be my new touch stone. It was so big I had to give it my left pants pocket and little else could fit.

-a million tiny greens, browns and white. One green was so thick and weathered, it seemed about an inch thick. it was tiny. Another green, almost line, reminded me of grass and spring. One brown was in the water, flat and tear shaped but large. My feet and fingers got wet but I retrieved it from the water.

There were hardly any aquas or purples. I seem to see certain colors on certain days and have yet to figure out if it is because of the sun, how easily some colors blend in bright light, if it is the fact that there was little beach so most pieces of glass were still moist if not soaked or if my eyes, on certain days, picks up certain hues it misses on others. Or, maybe yesterday there was little purple. But I went home with full pockets and a calm heart.

Read Full Post »

Tired Ocean

Can the occen get tired? That’s how she seemed today. I went down to the sea wall when the sun came out. It’s in the 50’s in April and it’s almost long-sleeved shirt weather in these parts. But when I got to the beach there was no where to walk.

I sat on the cement sea wall at the top of a stairway. The bottom stairs were drying and thousands of blue mussel shells were squished up against the wall. I’ve never seen the mussels upturned and filled with water. They are usually dry and chalky when I hunt. The waves made them lift and drop, fill and empty and it was as though hundreds of silent bangles were clashing as unseen pairs in an underwater parade slapping symbols and playing a good morning alarm.

The water was dark and flat. Some waves pulsed forward and were insistent but the arrival on shore seemed monotonous and without energy. Too much styrofoam floated on her surface, the blue detergent cap floated as did the dirty beach ball, moving sideways. Even the hay and Irish Moss seemed like unwelcome extras she had carried on tired limbs. The debris looked heavier than the actual ounces it must have been. She seemed a fed up mother saying, “No more,” to the dishes which everyone knows will keep coming.

I felt as though I walked in on her while she was still sleepy cranky, without coffee and in her pajamas. She wasn’t her usual perfumed and bouncy self. She had the odor of hard labor, the perspiration of a woman giving birth without regard for putting on airs or pretty faces or scenic views.

So today, I let go of the hunt for treasures and gems. I took my plastic bag and filled it with styrofoam and plastic, old juice boxes and empty water bottles. I felt greedy taking or hunting today. Since I’ve never felt like a scavengar before I paid attention. I pitched in, pushed a hair off of her face, took a few bottles to the recycle bin and said, “Rest up, I’ll do a load of laundry and be back later.”

She has all her bounty but seemed on empty today. The amount of trash on the shore made me sad. It floated so close to the surface and covered what little shore there was it was impossible not to see the excessive amount. I’m glad I didn’t walk away without making some efforts to do my part. This place gives me so much solace and peace and comfort as well as gems of glass and shell. But the provider, this natural wonder, is a natural wonder that should not be polluted and left to absorb toxins, trash and debris. She’s way to big to be mine but I own some of the clean-up. The trash, on most days, is a small blip on a shore of shells, rocks, sand and summer.

Today, I was a custodian, dutiful, happy to be helpful and that I was able to see another side, and hopefully, to lighten the heavy burden mother nature carries far too often alone.

Catch of the Day: Knowing when to put down the need for acquiring in order to roll up the sleeves and do some dirty work.

Read Full Post »