By Cindy Bilbao
“Sea glass is such a happy thing, isn’t it?” a woman once said to me. She wasn’t asking me to agree with her, it was more of a statement of fact: sea glass equals happiness.
As beachcombers we all know how wonderful it feels to unload our stress and daily obligations, trading them all in for the simplicity of searching for treasures on the beach. The introspection that this quiet time allows promotes well-being.
I was reminded of just how significant this time can be for us when a fellow sea glass searcher graciously shared a story with me that I hold onto because it taught me that I should never feel guilty about taking time for myself to do this beachcombing thing that I love.
While I was selling my wares at a sea glass festival a few years ago, a woman told me a moving story about how sea glass and/or the search for it helped her teenage son. He was going through a difficult time, so while on vacation she invited him to go sea glass hunting with her. He had never been before so she instructed him what to do and what to look for. After a few hours she went back to the house but he wanted to stay. In fact, he stayed all day looking for treasures.
Later that evening, she spotted him sitting on his bed in silence, and thinking that something was wrong, she asked him about it. He told her that nothing was wrong—it was just the opposite, that he felt better than he had felt in a long time! He said he felt like a changed person as he described how being on the beach just relaxing, looking for glass had cleared his head, giving him the ability to make the decision that he wanted to change his life around and make better choices. I love this story all the more because it involved a child who most likely will become a life-long beachcomber!
That’s what beachcombing can do! It’s about getting outside, and moving. It’s about breathing deeply of sea air, listening contentedly to the waves, and experiencing the vast expanse of water and sky. All of this somehow has the ability to clear your head of those millions of thoughts, worries, and responsibilities, so what’s left behind is happiness. Pure and simple. And that is the sea glass solution.
Sea glass equals happiness.
This article appeared in the Glassing Magazine July 2017 issue.