Beach Glass Clarity
It started innocently enough. I suggested we should go to a local park on the shore of Lake Ontario to look for beach glass as the wind and wave action the night before had been intense. I'll confess that I love beach glass. It is a testament to the effects of water and weather upon a stable compound. It is proof of the eroding affects of time. It is human trash thrust into the natural world in a beautiful way. Wind makes waves, waves make beach glass and an equation formed in my mind: rough weather = I find beach glass.
We bundled up and emerged on a snowy shore. It was still quite windy and we had to dodge errant waves, but find beach glass we did! Frosted smooth pebbles. Broken fine china. Large bottle bottoms. And some newer, sharper specimens. All the treasures, prized and suspect, went into our bag for washing and evaluation. It was a great success as an outing. Yes, we found our quarry, but more so, we found quiet time together walking a shore line with a common cause. We found that our outing forced us to be present at the water's edge. To the sound. To the lake. To nature. To the whipping wind. To the chilling air.
We went again the next Sunday. We didn't understand yet that it was more than beach glass we were seeking. We simply had a collecting jones. We just wanted more glass. And why not? Beach glass is a pretty puzzle. Yes, it is technically trash- some very old, some from a party last summer- but it is rubbish. Rubbish that the able goddess, Lake Ontario, has had her way with. She has enjoyed her meal and cast the bones for those who revel in such delights. Her shoreline is strewn with bits of smooth, frosted glass, contoured with the familiar such as bottle necks and logos. Some have pit marks and chips, but all are glazed with equal parts of history and mystery.
The third outing started to reveal the true pleasure in the excursion. Sure there was glass...a stunning amount in fact...but it was the walk, near the goddess water, hand in hand that made the trip a purifying ritual from the norm. We found in those moments that we simply were. We weren't thinking about the coming week. We weren't stressed about what hadn't been accomplished. We were simply breathing and walking. We just were.
On our fourth outing, this time on a Saturday, we found a new rhythm. Unusually calm, my partner skipped stones while I counted. We laughed at his failures and cheered his victories of sequential ripples of water. We paused, gazed the horizon, and discussed birds. We walked further than before, effortlessly, understanding that the glass was secondary. The real purpose was to be present to each other.