At long last, it was finally time for me to hobble home for fall break after the first half of the semester had stripped away all my energy and motivation. Being that my home is in the cozy beach town of Cape May, I figured what better way to recoop than to go for a sunset walk on the beach with my pup? I grabbed my camera and we scurried down to the sea. Continue reading “A Girl, Her Dog, and a Beach Sunset”
This summer in Cape May might be one of my last. Senior year of college has begun, and the possibilities for adventure, success, and learning are only just starting to reveal themselves on the distant horizon. Seeing that time whizzes past me faster and faster every year, I wanted to make sure this summer was not one that I would forget, using my camera to freeze frame my favorite moments, so they might stay with me just a while longer.
One of the best things about Cape May is that it sits in its own bubble. When you watch the sun slipping out of view as it melts into the ocean, hearing the sound of the waves lightly lap the shore like it’s been doing for millions of years, you forget the rush that life has entangled us in. The noisy city you come from or the homework you have due eases into the background as the salt erodes our stress-hardened edges. The ocean will always be a deeply healing place for me.
Sometimes our happiest moments are the ones we weren’t planning: going to the beach in-between a double, exploring a dock, just taking it all in. These spontaneous moments are some of my favorites.
Wherever my career and wanderlust may take me, Cape May will always be my true home. With the sound of the ocean waiting on the other side of my window, the salt breeze to kiss my skin, and a town filled with lessons and memories that have shaped me into who I am, it’s hard to forget a place like Cape May.
It’s been a crazy few months, to say the least. This previous semester (and past 3 years?!?) has absolutely flown by, and it was going home for winter break that made me realize how we take the slow moments for granted. Reading in the evenings, watching the sunset, making dinner. These are the times that really make life special. If nothing else, January will always be for embracing slow moments.
I’ve never really been a fan of snow. It’s cold and messy and makes me want to sulk in my cave of movies and junk food, but the bewildering snowfall in the past few days enchanted me to leave my miniature hibernation. I went to bed in sleepy old Cape May, and woke up the next day in a snow globe: everything coated with a heavy white blanket. While I was a day or two late getting to the sunken ship (pictured below), the frozen floor of ice presented a spectacle I hadn’t seen since I was a child, if even then. It was so dense that people were actually walking out on to it, and the fact that anyone at all actually got outside for a sunset in the winter spoke for itself.
Reporting as a news anchor with a bottle of beer instead of a microphone, this guy seemed to be having a grand old time.
At first glance, the frozen plain of ice seemed like terrain from another planet. So I decided, why not have a little fun with editing my pictures? Kids turn into astronauts, and snow turns into Saturn.
Glass can be crafted into countless objects that take on many different forms, from bottles, to windows, to binoculars. While these beautiful creations are certainly pleasant to look at and use, my favorite form of glass is actually when it’s broken. This may sound a little peculiar, but it will all make sense in just a moment.
Sea glass is glass that has been thrown, dumped, or dropped, purposefully or accidentally, into the sea. There, it spends years being tumbled between waves, rocks, and sand. Over time the sharp edges are worn away, leaving behind rounded ends and a foggy complex. The glass that was once clear loses its shine and takes on a textured, rougher feel. Although sea glass has a white tint when dry, it glistens when freshly out of the water. I often feel like I’ve found a gem from a treasure chest when I see a piece nestled between the pebbles, just out of touch from the waves kissing the shoreline.
Amidst all of the other pebbles on the beach, it can be hard to spot a piece of sea glass, especially when the clear pieces easily blend in. On days when I’m stressed out or simply want to get outside, I slowly stroll down the shoreline, scanning the ground in a methodical, back and forth manner. Step by step, side to side, I make my way down the beach. Once you find even a handful of pieces, your eyes begin to tune in to various shapes and colors, like the way the foggy texture of sea glass stands out among the grainy sand and other smooth rocks.
Walking down the beach frees up some time to think, some time to clear the mind. There’s nothing like the natural remedy of salt air and the sound of the ocean. Thinking about nothing, the way the beach has been here for thousands of years. Thinking about how old the sand is that I’m walking on. In a town like Victorian Cape May, where I was born and raised, there’s no telling just how old some of these pieces could be or what stories they have to tell. Hundreds of years of history could be right at my fingertips.
While sea glass never fails to be stunning and unique, it’s important to remember that these mysterious little treasures are a result of pollution. I love finding pieces on the beach, but I love the ocean even more. For that very reason, it is vital to keep our oceans clean and do not dump glass (or anything, for that matter) into the water. This planet is our home, and it’s our job to keep it clean.
On the flip side of that, and on a bit more of a positive note, you can think of looking for sea glass as not only a treasure hunt, but as a beach cleanup. So keep looking, keep treasure hunting, and keep our beaches and oceans clean!