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Wednesday, January 18, 2012

A Winter Day on the Beach

In the wintertime, I take my beach combing opportunities when they come. As they say, "beggars can't be choosers," and during January the days with low tides during daylight hours are few and far between. Yesterday was one of those rare days, and it even turned out to be a fairly clear day-- although pretty "frosty."

Bright teal green
Now, to say that a day is "good" for beach combing during January had to be taken with a grain of salt. What it actually means is that I get to leave the house around 12:30, make a mad dash down the beach (about 3.5 miles/5.5km) while the tide is still quite high, in order to spend a couple of hours at my favorite beach combing spot... before it gets too dark and I have to make for home, again.

It's nice when these January outings happen to come on a clear day, as it affords me at least an extra 45 minutes of daylight. On a rainy day-- or even a day with heavy cloud cover-- it gets too dark to see what I am doing quite early. I know some people beach comb with a flashlight, but I have just never had much success with that.

It turned out to be a quite rewarding outing, even though I had my doubts, for a while.

The beach presents an ever-changing landscape, around here. Frequent storms and tides that fluctuate up to 12 feet between minimum and maximum means that rocks and sand constantly get moved around. On my walk out, I found myself having to traverse slippery soccer ball sized rocks, most of the way... and there was a thick layer of washed up seaweed in places-- the result of recent storms. Large rocks and seaweed are a combination that rarely bodes well, when your objective is to find sea glass.

Fortunately, as I got closer to one of the areas where I usually find some glass, some sandy patches started showing between the piles of large rocks. As the tide receded, a long thin line of sand and gravel stretched out before me... and I knew it was going to be a good day!

As most beach combers know, every day has it's own "character." Yesterday was a "lots of glass but few rarities" sort of day. Had I been interested in doing so, I could probably have picked up five pounds of clear and brown sea glass. Which, to most people's way of thinking (including mine!) is a LOT of sea glass. However-- aside from very unusual or perfect pieces-- I am really not very interested in the "common" colors, anymore.

Nugget of Amberina orange/red, as found yesterday
It was not until the very end of my day that a couple of lovely pieces found their way to me: A very BRIGHT and perfect nugget of red and orange "Amberina" glass-- a considerable rarity-- caught the dying rays of the sun and lit up like a little beacon. I tried to take a picture of it, but the effect was impossible to photograph. And just five minutes later, I found a beautiful nugget of vibrant blue-green glass (pictured at top)-- a shade of teal I very rarely come across.

And then it was time to head home, in the murk of a winter evening.

It felt good to be out there... and I felt pleased that this first outing of 2012 turned out as well as it did. I then paused to remind myself that as much as I enjoy finding sea glass, walking on the beach has always been "a meditation" for me. I'd still be "out there," even if there were no sea glass. However, the sea glass does offer a nice incentive!

Thursday, January 05, 2012

A New Year!

So, here we are. It's 2012-- a new year lies ahead. 

Some people believe this may be our last year on this planet, and that the world will end on December 21st, 2012, because the often talked about Mayan Calendar ends then. It seems to me that a segment of humankind has always been obsessed with "the end of days." Last time, it was the millennium, when people thought the world would collapse into chaos because computers at the time used a two-digit system (instead of four-digit) to register years. Of course, the world didn't end... a few systems powered themselves down, and were then restarted. Life continued, pretty much as it had been before.

I don't tend to get into "new year's resolutions" and the whole attendant circus. I think we end up placing too much emphasis on unrealistic goals ("this year I am going to lose 50lbs and run the Boston Marathon") and then we end up feeling bad about ourselves, because we failed. I'm all about creating and setting goals I can succeed at... not "wishful thinking."

My "wall of sea glass" in my new home office
Now that we are permanently moved into our new home, I have been focusing on organizing my home office in such a way I can spend less time "getting ready" to do things, and more time "doing" them. 

Most of my sea glass-- from many different unsorted buckets and bins-- has now made it into neatly organized plastic tubs where the glass is sorted by color, size, quality, shape and more. It may not be as visually pretty as glass jars on a windowsill... but it's imminently more practical, if someone contacts me and wants to know if I have "50 pieces of cobalt blue sea glass the size of a dime.

Sorting everything-- which remains an ongoing process, as there is still MUCH to be sorted-- has also allowed me to separate "my own collection" (of particularly nice/unusual pieces) from what I have come to think of as my duplicate stock (for sale). Being able to do this offered a certain sense of relief, as I came to realize that I am not really a "hoarder" (like on those TV shows) of sea glass, but an actual "collector." 

My primary goal for 2012 (NOT a "resolution") is to use the time I am going to save as a result of being better organized... and spend it actually finding things on the beach, as opposed to wishing I had time to find things on the beach, because I feel too busy being lost in my own office. 

I think that's a worthy goal.

Happy New Year!

About Me

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1960 vintage Danish national now living in the Pacific Northwest... active in the global HSP community; active beach comber and sea glass collector; lifetime collector of postage stamps from Scandinavia; writer and consultant, primarily to the metaphysics and self-help industries, writer at OM Times magazine; artist who doodles on rocks; eBay & Etsy entrepreneur and studio and production assistant at Radio Nahmaste.

Diverse enough for you?