Jerry and I stood near the edge of one of the cliffs on Peddock’s Island and emptied the backwash in our beer bottles onto the earth below our feet. The sun lay low creating ribbons of lavender and coral in the otherwise darkening sky. He looked at me, thoughts fixed on our mission.
“Ready to make sea glass?” He asked.
I nodded, and threw my bottle, watching it fall to the rocks below and shatter on impact. Jerry’s bottle shortly followed, and we stood there for a second watching the ocean take the debris away.
We knew it was basically littering, and that our poetic nonsense had some type of fall out, but we liked the idea of it. We liked how some day, maybe when we’re dead and gone, some kid will find a piece of our glass washed ashore, it’s once perforated edges now soft the touch. While they might not wonder where or who it came from, they might want to make something of it, just like how Jerry and I did as kids and well into our early adulthood. We wanted to share the wonder of found objects someone who we would never meet, and in a way, be tied to some sweet obscure anonymous history.
It was a tradition for Jerry and I to make sea glass. I’m willing to bet that in the 4 years we were together, we made enough of it to fill an entire town with Mother’s Day presents.
I can only speak for myself now. He’s long gone and I live a thousand miles away. But what consistently draws me to sea glass apart from its odd beauty is how time gently creates it, without permission the way it wants to. I can’t help but see this as a euphemism for something else, something greater, as loose of a connection as that may be. If you apply the concept to a bigger picture, it becomes something all in its own.
For example, life throws you over a cliff. It shatters you and scatters you, making you feel disattached from yourself. But it has a rhythm and a purpose. In the same way the ocean brings the sand in and pushes it back onto itself, you get brought in and pushed back onto your self. You are to the world, as glass is to the ocean. If you let the universe do it’s thing with you, it returns you to the cosmos soft and beautiful.