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Monday, May 25, 2015

Sea Glass

Sea glass
The first time I searched for sea glass was in 1975 or thereabouts when our son Jeff and I joined my friend Mary Lynn Villaume for an overnight at a cottage north of our student housing in Somerville, Massachusetts.   We took Mary Lynn's old VW van and drove to a large, unheated, unlocked cottage in a gated community owned by the illustrious Massachusetts family, the Saltonstalls.  What was her connection with them, I do not remember, but for some reason she was checking on the place and the garden.  

We put sleeping bags on the upstairs floor and I know I heard far too many strange noises during the night downstairs.  It was all pretty eerie. 

However, the kids had so much fun playing nude in the ocean for hours.  This resulted in a terrible sunburn for poor Jeff on parts that don't usually see the sun. 

Back to sea glass.  Mary Lynn showed me how beautiful little bits of colored glass that have been polished by the sand and the sea could be.  I began my collection in little bottles and over the years I have picked up sea glass from beaches in California, Scotland, Florida, and North Carolina--as well as our own Lake Michigan.


Sea Plastic!
Yes, I am in favor of recycling but it has ruined my collecting sea glass.  Occasionally I find a piece or two in the best of conditions--such as after a storm and when no one else has been on the beach.  Yesterday I found two.   Is there something symbolic about the fact that it is easy to pick up "sea plastic?"  Within a short time, I had gathered many pieces of brightly colored plastic on the shore.  They are ugly.  They have not been tempered by sea and sand; they are just jagged and garish and will probably last forever.  I threw them in the trash.

When we return home, I'll add my two little pieces of real sea glass to the bottles in the window over our kitchen sink and remember all the beaches I have enjoyed over the years.


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