Life Outside the Pages

My Secret Delight: Beach or Sea Glass Hunting!

Scratching in the sand looking for smoothly polished glass can keep me entertained for hours!

Everyone has something they love to do; something they can keep on doing hour after hour, year after year. Aside from my first love, reading, and my second love, writing, what I love best is looking for glowing treasures from the sea; beach or sea glass!

Basically the same thing, beach glass comes from fresh water such as lakes and rivers, while sea glass is found on the shores of salt water seas and oceans.

I can’t remember when this obsession started; I’ve always loved hunting for natural treasurers. As a child, my parents would take my sibs and me to the beach in New Jersey where we’d pick up shells – mostly clam shells, which were legion.

I didn’t care if they all looked alike; each seemed prettier than the last! It reminds me of Laura Ingalls Wilder writing about her childhood visit to the shores of Silver Lake, where she picked up so many pretty pebbles the pocket fell off her dress!

I have bowls and jars filled with beach glass treasures I’ve found on my travels – as I don’t live near big water, alas – and looking at these treasures fills me with contentment.

Beach glass makes a great souvenir, too. It doesn’t cost anything, you’re cleaning up a beach by picking up what really amounts to trash, and most local governments have no problem with people cleaning up their beaches. Places where you’re forbidden to pick up shells or coral are happy to let you take their beach glass.

There are some beaches where picking up glass is prohibited, mostly because they are known for their glass, the polished, washed-up remnants of old dumping which has turned trash into treasure. They want it to stay there for everyone to enjoy. People who go ahead and take it anyway are besmirching the spirit of glass hunting, and cheating others from enjoying local tourist attractions. Follow the rules, folks. There are plenty of places you can collect the stuff.

Get Your Toes Into the Sand!

Some people are worried that beach and sea glass is becoming harder to find as the world turns more to plastics and also tries to improve trash dumping practices to avoid further polluting the oceans and lakes of the world. Maybe this is true. But since the stuff is still largely regarded as garbage, I’m not worrying about it. My grandchildren will probably be able to collect something that isn’t a “thing” for us today. Who knows?

So when you get to the shore, cast your eyes to the sand. Pebbly areas are best. Maybe you’ll find a small, polished gem twinkling up at you to remember your trip by. It beats a coconut bra!