When we lived in Connecticut, we would go to the beach on weekends in the summer. One of our favorite past times was collecting sea glass…those beautiful pieces of glass that, after seven to ten years tumbled in the ocean, become little treasures.
Fast forward several years to the West Coast and Santa Barbara. Shortly after the move here, I was taking an early morning beach walk and noticed an elderly woman with a small bag collecting what at first I thought were rocks. California beaches have an abundance of these. After closer inspection, I came to realize that it was sea glass. It had been many years since I had looked for sea glass, and I was excited to know that it could be found here in Santa Barbara! That’s all it took. Now, a few times a week I take long walks at low tide and search for those elusive pieces of glass. I almost always see the elderly woman and we smile at each other as we pass. Some days there are great finds, such as in the winter after a storm. Other days I’m content to just be walking along our beautiful coast line and taking in the sea air. There is a meditative quality to looking for sea glass when done on your own. But it is also fun to do with family or friends and to see who finds the biggest and best piece.
Just recently after a storm and some high surf, my daughter and I ventured out and had one of our best days ever. The waves were huge and each one brought in more sea glass. It was just there for the picking! Of course we ended up with wet sneakers and our little walk turned into a 2 hour adventure, but the thrill of the hunt was so worth it! I even found an amethyst geode!
What you may ask do I do with all of that sea glass? At first when I was just starting out, I kept it in a clear glass vase. Before long, that filled up. Now I’ve become a bit fussier as to what glass makes the cut. I have a large apothecary jar of green glass in my green bathroom, a marble bowl of blues, another vase filled with an assortment of blues and whites, and even a bowl of brown pieces. If it’s a special piece (unusual shape, size, or color), it earns a place in a large flat 28″ diameter cement bowl that sits on our dining table.
What happens when the bowls are full? It’s kind of like art….there is always room for one more beautiful piece.