Fetching Sea-Born Treasures Home
Some like to challenge themselves in their quests, searching for the elusive sea glass that has become few and far between on Cape Cod beaches. In his books “Pure Sea Glass: Discovering Nature’s Vanishing Gems” and “The Lure of Sea Glass: Our Connection to Nature’s Gems” (Schiffer Publishing 2004, 2015), Richard LaMotte dives deep into everyone’s favorite beach treasure. “There is splendid irony in collecting sea glass, since this alluring trophy sought after in the shifting sand was once merely sand itself,” he says. “Leave it to Mother Nature to improve upon something manipulated by man and returned to her care after it has served our temporary needs.”
But it’s not just the beautiful colors and thrill of the chase for some sea glass collectors. “Of course, the sea, itself, lures us, its musical rhythms offering shifting moods of deep peace, wonder, or awe. Treading the shoreline, we are in tune with the elements—tides, waves, sun, moon and stars,” says LaMotte. “There is a great healing power found where water meets the shore. The rhythmic surf can soften our rough edges as well.” He describes the process nature inflicts to create sea glass, saying, “The forces of nature not only shape sea glass by abrasive physical conditioning, but contact with aquatic environments creates unique textures that are only poorly imitated by man.” One can’t help but wonder if he is speaking strictly about sea glass. Those who call Cape Cod home, whether for the year or for a week, much like sea glass, may be roughed up and tumbled by life, but come out of it stronger and ready for whatever else life may throw their way.
Thoreau writes, “We often love to think now of the life of men on beaches, at least in midsummer, when the weather is serene; their sunny lives on the sand, amid the beach-grass and the bayberries…their wealth a jag of driftwood or a few beach-plums, and their music the surf and the peep of the beach-bird.” In 1865, almost 200 years ago, he captured the magic and simplicity of a Cape Cod beach walk, proving that no matter the changes, minute to minute, year to year, the beach’s beauty and treasures will be there for you when you need them most.
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