If you spend any amount of time around me in the great outdoors, you will very quickly notice a trait I inherited from my father: I look down.
No, not because I am timid or trying to avoid eye contact, but because there are so many fascinating things at ground level that your average bear never even notices. Want some wild strawberries? I'll find them. An interesting rock? It's right over there. Beach glass? Sorry, there's none left because I already found it. Majestic mountains and stars? Ummm....huh?
Okay, I do notice the mountains and stars, but looking down is an under rated joy, and I am the undisputed queen of beach glass. On SUnday morning I announced to Son that we were packing up and heading for my favourite "glass beach" an hour away. At first he was reluctant because he knows how singlemindedly I pursue my glass-related goals, but, as I knew from experience would happen, as soon as we got there he assumed the exact same pose I had: slightly hunched, walking slowly at the water's edge, turning around periodically in case the different angle of the sun would reveal some treasure we had overlooked. "You know what, Amah? I forgot how much fun this is!" Yes, Son, I know. And I gave you have the same downward gene I got from my daddy. You're welcome.
After about two hours of this, we sat down on the warm sand and examined each piece we had found, selecting only the pieces that truly spoke to us to keep. Sometimes we keep a piece because it is rare (such as the large piece of ruby red glass I found) or because the shape of the piece speaks to us. For me, the main fun is in finding it, not necessarily in having it, and we already have so much beach glass at home that we literally can't keep everything we find....so after choosing our very favourites at one end of the beach, we walked the beach again, occasionally throwing our "rejects" back in to the sand so that other beach combers can find some treasure, too.
At work today, I casually mentioned to a co-worker what Son and I had been up to at the beach. Turns out that her parents live on the beach in another part of the province, and beach glass is her mother's passion. She makes jewellery out of the large pieces, and intricate mosaics out of the smaller ones. When I got home tonight, I sorted through all my jars of glass, keeping my favourites and put the rest aside for her mom. I have (gasp) the equivalent of about twenty cups of glass to take in to work tomorrow, and I only kept about a cup and a half, only my most prized pieces. (Other than rare colours, such as blue, red, and purple, the pieces I prize the most are the TINY ones, because it takes so much more attention to find them.)
Does it pain me to part with so much of my collection? Not in the least; here it just sits in jars, at least in their new home the pieces I have hoarded will go to use. Next time Son and I go glass hunting, I probably won't throw so much back either, I will probably keep some aside for this lady.
But I will always throw some of it back in to the sand so that other Down Lookers can squeal with delight, too.