Journeys: Day 12 of 31 (my March theme)
In October 2021, I visited Rockport, Massachusetts, where I stayed in a quaint little VRBO named the Sail Loft of Bearskin Neck, right next door to the leather shop in the heart of town. The New England vibe was strong, and my heart swelled every time I took a walk in the crisp autumn air. The church bells chime the hour and evening hymns from the church steeple blanket this charming town with peace that quiets the soul, a reminder to pause and praise.
There are three theories explaining how Bearskin Neck got its name. The most commonly held story is that a young bear was caught by the tide and killed in 1700. The second story is that early settlers in the area encountered aggressive bears and would lure the bears onto the neck where they could trap and hunt them. The third story is that Bearskin Neck was named after Ebenezer Babson saw his nephew being attacked by a bear and intervened, luring the bear into the water and killing it with a fishing knife.
Having lived in coastal Georgia and coastal South Carolina, I know that shell hunting yields greater abundance on an outgoing tide, and the locals confirmed when I’d asked about the best places to find sea glass that Front Beach and Back Beach were the places to go – – but that I’d have to get there early the next morning on the outgoing tide. I made a note to keep an eye out for aggressive bears as I made my way to the beach.
I poured a cup of coffee and headed out before sunrise on a sea glass quest. There were already several seekers with their dogs out at Front Beach, scouring the shore for the bits of opaque glass. A quick walk along this beach told me that I might have better luck at Back Beach, so another few minutes down the way took me to a far rockier beach. The sun was just beginning to peek over the horizon in a vibrant golden color unique to New England beaches, like a pirate’s treasure chest opening in the sky.
I set my coffee cup down. With careful footing on the rocks, I scoured the shore for the tiny bits of glass. While I wanted to take home some sea glass that I had found myself, I realized in those first few minutes that the search was relatively futile. I think I’ll buy myself a bracelet. That’s the only way I’ll be taking home any sea glass, I decided.
And then I got lucky. I changed my search zone and found a few tiny pieces that brought heart-stopping excitement. A cobalt piece, a red piece, a light green piece and a white piece resurrected the same thrill of finding the golden Easter egg one year when I was young. I dumped my cold coffee and used my mug as my collection cup.
There’s a certain slant of light, a gift known to earlybirds, that is incomparable to any other time of day. The way the rays hit a window or a rocky shore are breathtaking. For sea glass seeking or sunrise, I’m eager to breathe the morning air, to inhale the salt of the sea, to watch the day begin and know each night that I’ve been a good steward of the beauty of this world!
Let the sea roar, and all that fills it; let the field exult, and everything in it!
1 Chronicles 16:32