And, we've all heard it...how to manage the stress, right? Eat well, exercise, get enough sleep, pray. Sometimes coffee talk with a good friend does the job. Take a vacation. Get a massage. I used to take a drive to reduce tension...but with gas prices what they are, that idea might raise the stress level!
On our last trip up the coast, our whole family was introduced to a new stress-relieving, calming, peaceful activity: sea glass hunting. I have been making the pilgrimage to the Monterey Bay area ever since childhood. You think I would have discovered this outstanding stress-reducer at some point over the years. But it took a new friend to mention it to get me to actually do it. She even hold us the secret location of her favorite sea glass beach!
Well, it took some prompting to get all the kids on board with the idea. And the husband wasn't really all that interested in it. But there we went...not entirely sure of what we were hunting. The kids took off to explore the rocks and tide pools. Then, I started looking down at the sand. Sea glass? What the heck does it look like? All I saw was sand! I bent down to get a closer look. Huh, green. That's not sand. I picked up a speck of green glass. It was tiny, but pretty, smoothed by countless waves driving it into the sand. Sea glass! I had found some.
I showed the husband. He had found some with amber hues. We dropped to our knees and began sifting through the sand with our hands. As we made our way up the beach, away from the water we found ourselves finding more and more bits and pieces of these little jewels. The kids came scurrying over to see what we were holding.
"Oh, sea glass!" Middle C dropped to his knees and joined in the hunt. He came across several, beautifully frosted white pieces, rather large. He had a big smile on his face.
C and Big C were kneeling down next to the husband, enthralled in a unique find of blue. It was the palest shade of blue, almost in the shape of a teardrop.
"That's beautiful!" I said. "I want to find some blue too."
So, there we were, now all sitting on the sand moving our hands back and forth just at the surface. I really had to be down, so close to the ground. There, I could see the large-grained sand as individual pebbles, beautiful in and of themselves. My hands were feeling heavy and relaxed.
"We really should get going," I said.
"Yea," the husband replied back. "Maybe a few more minutes."
Twenty minutes later, I found a gorgeous blue piece. The blue, it seemed, was the most rare to find. It became the coveted color. And, when found, we would all shout out "blue one!"
After another 20-30 minutes, I finally mustered up the energy to stand up, gather the kids and begin our accent up the stairs from the beach. All the while, we walked with our gaze downward for the slight possibility that we would find another treasure.
Last one off the sand? The husband. He was hooked. He even found an old crumpled up silver spoon! You can see it in the picture below. Oh, the kids had a great time discussing the pirate ship that must have lost it hundreds of years ago! (I kept my thoughts to myself. It probably fell out of the restaurant window just above the beach maybe a month ago!)
Our finds of the day! You may see a ladybug in there, just for good measure...
Sea glass hunting. It was definitely soothing to my soul. I've added it to the list of stress-reducing activities. Now, if I only lived near the beach...