Monday, January 25, 2010

Are we tumbled?

Sea glass in several colors and shapes.Image via Wikipedia

Sunday evening I spotted a note on Lucy's Facebook page about finding sea glass on her nearby shore. I had the wonderful opportunity to walk on that same beach with Lucy a week ago and we found that both of us have good eyes for the sea glass; if we have sea glass searching in mind in the future, we may consider walking separately to avoid the competition for the best pieces:) Seriously, what a game it is searching and finding sea glass.

If you're not familiar with said sea glass, it's found on beaches all over the world. It most popularly comes in green, amber, and white. Most often, it comes in green and amber because those are the colors of Heineken and Budweiser beer bottles. Yikes, what does that mean? Well, it means that some place some careless, thoughtless lout (and this is not to say that all beer drinkers fall in that category, but some do) has pitched their bottle overboard, it's broken, and it's been tossed and tumbled all the way to a beach shore. Generally, it's no longer sharp or piercing, but etched into a frosty appearance of tumbled treasure.

Now the REAL sea glass that one hopes for are the turquoise or dark blue of very old broken bottles that may have been in the sea for years. When one's eye finds a chip of those blues it's like a little gift from the sea, from a sailor ancestor that one could imagine, a shipwreck or a doctor of old having lost a treasured medicine bottle in the ocean. (My last find of blue glass was maybe 10 years ago on a Victoria, BC seashore.)

As an aside, I've spent hours in Maui combing the shores for fun in this search. One day while sitting on the sand, observing my spouse in snorkeling gear off shore, I sat sifting, sifting, sifting. A woman walking on the beach stopped to inquire what I was doing, searching for, finding? I told her briefly and she inquired, "What do you do with it?" "I find it," I replied. She walked away confused hoping that Maui's excitement did not hinge on finding sea glass!

As I search for the precious shards and bits of sea glass, I often think of my own, and maybe your, spiritual quest for that other than ourselves - broken, lost, maybe even tossed away, the act of tumbling, of surging in and out of the tide flow and pools, of being scrubbed, washed, sifted and found - it seems the perfect metaphor for our quest and for God's love in finding us. He knows where we are, when to pick us out of the sand; He knows when we are ready for harvest. I guess our prayer, my prayer is, that when we're ready to show our polished, burnished, slightly scratched and sometimes even sharp appearance, that God will take us into His kingdom as the found jewel that He always kept track of from the beginning to the end of the sea glass' life.

Have you ever looked for, found, been thrilled to uncover such a little treasure from the sea as a smooth, polished piece of glass? I hope you'll think of it in "another way" or maybe for the first time as a real treasure.

P.S. For more "sea glass talk" visit Lucy today:)
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  1. I visited Fort Bragg, CA (where the movie Overboard was filmed, incidentally), a couple of summers ago. They have an entire glass beach because it used to be the town dump! It's amazing how trash can turn into treasure.

  2. Anonymous7:45 AM

    I loved reading this! And yes, God smooths us so beautifully! never a finished project...:) JG

  3. Delightful post.

    Some months ago the Washington Post had an article, I think in the travel section, that referred to some place (Delaware?) that is the best for finding sea glass. The article mentioned how "hot" red sea glass is. There is a group along the coast that buys, sells, and trades sea glass, and a growing number of artists are using the glass in jewelry and other art-making.

    Trash into treasure, indeed! May the recycling continue.

  4. What a lovely activity and meditation to accompany it! I look forward to the day when God sets all his bits of glass into the final mosaic, then fills it with His light. Since He's a master artist, I'm sure we cannot even begin to comprehend how amazing the finish project will be.

  5. Hi Polli, Maureen, JG, PK -

    So nice to have you all visit. Each of you offered just enough difference in your comments to make me marvel again at how far and wide our minds roam on seemingly the same subject. I so appreciate your contributions!


  6. I wanted to comment on your post for today, the poem you wrote for RAP. I could not find Comments to click on. It seems to not be visible.

    Your poem is delightful. I twittered it earlier.

  7. Maureen, Thank you, thank you for letting me know about the "missing comments section"..........what a pain. I found that the select buttons had been inadvertently switched to NO VISIBLE COMMENTS. I must have been unconscious if I did that! Computers:)))) Tx again!