Sea Glass

I feel very fortunate to live in a place where I am able to enjoy all four seasons in a year. Each one is different and each one has something wonderful to offer.  Summer is a time for freedom, lighter schedules, family vacations and days at the beach.  Some of my most cherished memories are summer memories. It’s a time when little things like taking a walk on the beach become something that you hang onto forever. For me, searching for sea glass was one of those little moments that ended up turning into so much more than a walk on the beach. If you have never heard of sea glass or you are wondering what is so great about it, I’ll tell you why it’s special to me.

My four sisters and I are lucky enough to have parents who fell in love with a little beach town on the eastern shore of New Jersey called Stone Harbor. For well over forty years we have been traveling to Stone Harbor to spend weeks at a time enjoying the town, the beach and most of all family. It has become a place that holds some of our happiest memories. We are all parents now and it has been fun watching our own children enjoy the time they spend with their cousins, aunts and uncles, and grandparents. Now Stone Harbor is also a special place for them.

I’m not sure exactly when it started but a number of years ago my sisters and I started picking up sea glass while we were walking on the beach in Stone Harbor.

Sea glass is basically broken glass from old bottles or glassware that is weathered by the natural elements over time and ends up hidden in the sand on the beach.  The cool part is that there is some real history behind sea glass. Certain colors, like turquoise, are very rare and hard to find. Some of the glass that is found dates back to the 1800’s and could have been anything from a whiskey bottle to an ink bottle. It’s fascinating.

Searching for sea glass has become something everyone in our family loves to do. It doesn’t matter if you are on a walk with other people or you are running alone. You are usually looking, at least part of the time, for sea glass. It has sparked interesting conversation and created investigation into what each color might mean. At times it has been an unspoken competition, trying to find the most glass or the first cobalt blue piece of the summer. For years, three of my sisters were convinced my sister Lisa and I had a secret sea glass spot because we seemed to find so much of it when we were together. It was a coincidence but we played along. Our kids collect it now and as a matter of fact I think my niece Jillian has found the best piece yet . We have enjoyed all that searching for sea glass has turned into. For us it’s about family.  It’s about being together. It’s about the little things and the memories that are created. For us it’s so much more than a walk on the beach.

Photos by Leslie Reese