Treasure Hunters, by Wendy DeRaud



We are treasure hunters

Always searching

For treasures

Others can't see

Brought in by tides

Battered by years

Of waves throwing themselves

Over endless rocks and shores

We can spot them, the glistening permaculture

We can absorb them, into our habitats

Once we remember to observe and listen

Sandpiper and seagull

While one forages in families

The other swoops in from above

In endless noisy flocks

Alerting other inhabitants of aquatic life

For we are the treasure hunters

We listen for the forerunners

Alerting us inhabitants of this world

That there is another realm below the sands

Where hermit crab and jellyfish live

Hidden and undiscovered

Solitary in their rectitude

We wait as the treasure is exposed

In the Spring sunlight, transfixed


We came to the beach today full of expectation.



We were told that this was to be the place where we would find the most sea glass of any beaches in the area. We got a bag in which to keep the multitudinous multiplicities of sea glass awaiting us. We watched as the morning mist hung as a wispy shroud over the water, as the tides came in between the rocks covered with barnacles, bordered by kelp beds.


We looked out and saw along the shore that it was dotted with people who were slowly sauntering along, gazing downward.



They too were looking for something. And it was probably sea glass.



They had beaten us to the spot we were hoping to harvest our bag full. 



So we headed out to the left instead, where the mist was dancing its slow dance, weaving in and out of the rocks. 







As we walked, the beds of shells and rock grew scarcer. We kept looking down, wanting to make sure we didn't miss a glint of sea glass begging to be found. But nothing emerged.

What did we see instead?





There were trails in the sand, made entirely from the tides coming up onto the shore, then back out to the sea; I watched as as they receded, the tides deposited veins of sand that created beautiful patterns.






As I walked, these patterns each had their own unique quality: one seemed closest to a southwestern Indian motif, another, more an East Indian tapestry, another, like a peacock feather, perhaps painted with seaweed and kelp.







I wanted to remember what we saw and describe it here because I made it my treasure, I deemed it important and worthy. So did my husband's deciding to pick up black and white rocks instead sea glass. We also found beautiful white shells which, like the glass, had been worn down over time, now barely resembling the broken shells they once were.


We had still found treasures. Now they were our treasures and we found the meaning in them. We had made them worthy of our singling them out and adding them to our bounty.


These treasures were gifts from the sea for today; the fog and mist attracted us by its mystery, then its concealing drew us in to see more beauty.


I recognized immediately that had I held to my stern and rigid expectation of finding sea glass alone, that day on the beach would have brought disappointment and dissatisfaction, but instead, I forged a new way of seeing by shifting my focus.


What are you saying to me today, Lord?


I won't be able to hear if I come with my own expectation. I need to see with my heart that which I need to see today, in this present moment. At this intersection of time and space, it is a unique message and image, with its own treasure and mystery to be collected.


As we had to say good bye to the beach and prepare to head inland toward home, the fog and mist lifted to reveal the blue sky, and the ocean shoreline turned a deep and rich emerald blue-green. The tide began receding, revealing perhaps a fresh deposit of sea glass along its edge. But we had to leave those gifts for others to find, and carry away our days worth in our little bag. We were content with the heat through the mist, the muted tones  from the misty light, the myriad of fractal patterns we had newly considered and now regarded as the treasures of the day. 


And inspiration for future paintings.....