I have a passion for hunting. Actually it is the finding that makes the hunting my passion. Finding something buried in the sand or under a pile of junk, a forgotten treasure – this is joy to me. There is a euphoria that comes when you stumble on something of value that has been neglected or forgotten by others. You “see” what no one else has noticed or what others have failed to recognize. Maybe you’ve found something that has been lost for years. Maybe you’ve uncovered a secret or a long lost story. Maybe you’ve recovered a piece of someone’s history. There is satisfaction in laying hold of something good and worthy, a treasure that has been overlooked.
The most enchanted moments of my life have been spent on the coast of Maine where the rocky shoreline meets the beating heart of the sea. When I am there I feel free and right in a way I do not experience anywhere else on earth. One of the most joyful traditions we have as a family is to hunt for sea glass together. There have been countless shipwrecks along the coast of Maine spilling cargo including large shipments of china and glass on to the ocean floor. There is also, of course, the dumping of glass bottles and refuse into the sea. The churning and crushing of the turbulent waters takes these shards, once sharp and dangerous, and leaves them softened and frosted. With time, these jewels make their way to shore and hide themselves in the sand and seaweed.
It takes a certain “eye” to see the sea glass. You have to focus on the tidelines and look beyond the shells and debris for the right texture to discover it. My favorite pieces to find are the china and pottery. Sometimes you will discover the maker’s stamp on the back of a piece. It is a thrill to see a lovely pattern or the stamp and to ponder where the dish or cup may have come from. Was this the china from a sea captain’s table? We have also found bits of ceramic dolls, old smoking pipes, and ceramic marbles. They are each one a treasure and a valued find.
We have also discovered a new hunting game that we enjoy. I have leased a space at a nearby antique mall with a dear friend and we are in the process of filling it with special finds. This requires the delicious task of scouring all sorts of places and through all sorts of piles to find forgotten treasures. My favorite part is finding something old and repurposing it into something wonderfully useful. But again, this requires a certain eye for possibility. You have to be able to see the good and the potential amidst the trash and junk.
Junk – Debris – Chaos – Beauty. As I look around at the world these days, I find that it is shockingly easy to see the junk, easy for me to zero in on the debris and chaos. It challenges me because when I look at the condition of things I can easily be overwhelmed with a sense of hopelessness. The debris in life can overcome any of us. Life is hard and our hearts get heavy with the weight of all that pains us. Part of the lesson I have been learning in the past few years is that regardless of how much disappointment, pain, and hurt I experience, I can remain hopeful if I HUNT for Goodness. I must train my eye to see the beauty, the treasure, the worth and the potential in a person or situation. I must look long and hard, with intention, for the Good.
I have found that if I seek Beauty, Trueness, Love, and Life-Giving things everyday…I will find them. If I don’t, I won’t. Abraham Lincoln is quoted as saying, “If you look for the bad in people, expecting to find it, you surely will.” I believe that finding Goodness in your life is much like finding sea glass or a lost treasure – you must be intentional and deliberate about it. What do you look for in life? What do you look for in your children or your spouse? What do you see? Set your sights on Goodness this week and see if you can’t find a little in unexpected places. Goodness often hides, waiting for the worthy hunter to discover it. Put your boots on and go get it!
Enjoy this little video about sea glass hunting. This former editor of Paris Vogue was searching for something to satisfy her soul and she found it washed up on a beach.
Try complimenting the Goodness you see in someone this week. It will benefit you both!