Thursday, September 13, 2012

Sea-glass: treasures of the sea

There is sea-glass to be found almost everywhere here! We find the it amongst the rocky, black sand shores of the East coast of Hawaii every time we head down to the ocean.
We become treasure hunters, searching the beaches for softened, ocean glass, glistening in the tropical sun.
I've been fascinated with sea-glass ever since I was a teenager. I would go down to the beach early in the mornings, scouring the sand for bits of green and brown, purple, and blue. My favorites were always the teeny, periwinkle specks of glass, since they were, and still are, so hard to find.
I've always loved how the ocean could take something so sharp and cutting, and turn it into something soft and inviting. The longer the glass stays in the ocean, the softer and rounder it gets. It is shaped and manipulated by the waves and the sand, turning it into something completely different than it was before. They are truly treasures of the sea.
Now my little Odin loves collecting them, just like me.
A line of sea-glass made by Odin:
The seaglass is easist to find down on the shore, where the ocean meets the river mouths. A hundred and more years ago, when immigrant farmers first came to Hawaii to work in the pineapple and sugar cane fields, they used to live near the rivers, atop the hills. They would dump their trash into the flowing rivers, where it was carried down into the ocean as it's final resting place. That's why today we can find, amongst the many old, broken glass bottles, small bits of ceramic pottery hiding on the shores.
I get giddy with excitment everytime I find one of the ceramic pieces. I feel like I am holding onto a tiny piece of history! I try to imagine what life must've been like for those immigrant farmers, and what they did each day with their ceramic pots. These ceramic pots could have been some sort of standard-issue-kitchen-ware from China, or they could've traveled here from places all over the world, with the immigrants. Either way, I like finding them because they tell a mysterious story.

Collecting treasure from the sea has always been one of my favorite things do. The ocean is a refuge for me, and a place of immense healing. When I'm having a hard day, feeling nothing but grumpy, sharp, and cutting, the ocean molds me into something else. All I have to do is jump into the water, allowing the waves and sand to cover me, and I emerge a better person, feeling softer, happier, and more inviting. It's true for sea-glass, and it's true for people.
The ocean is powerful.


Anonymous said...

Wow that sea glass is beautiful!

jelly andrews said...

Oh! So gorgeous! I really love sea glass. I am really glad you’ve shared this one. Thanks for sharing.

Sally Jackson said...

Mahalo for stopping by and noticing the beautiful sea -treasures!

Kayla Rice said...

Wonderful pictures. The ocean sure is awesome!

tnfuji said...

I always wondered why Mokuleia always has awesome sea glass, and then I read your story. You guys have a great collection of sea glass and the pictures of your little ones picking it is too cute.