Sea glass is not a natural phenomenon, and yet is one of nature’s works of art. It is an elegant and mystical act of recycling. People first mastered glassmaking over five thousand years ago in Macedonia, and ever since, we’ve enjoyed a multitude of glass items that serve our needs and please our eyes. Even so, glass is expendable and fragile. Once it’s served its purpose it can be thrown away. How a shard of glass ends up in the ocean is an enticing mystery to the sea glass hunter.
Imagine a lamp from a ship that went down at sea over a hundred years ago lying on the ocean floor. Over time fragments of the broken lamp work their way across the seascape. The churning of surf and sand smooths sharp edges while the salty water etches the surface. One day a piece of the long lost lamp finally reaches land and is tossed onto a beach. It might only be there for a few seconds before a wave snatches it back, or it can be stranded and left to dry in the sun.
The beaches of Pacifica are blessed with some beautiful pieces of sea glass. Shades of green, amber, and white are fairly abundant, especially after a winter storm. Cobalt blue, aqua, and turquoise are harder to come by, while yellow, red, and purples are extremely rare. It’s not uncommon to find pieces of broken dishware that locals say were thrown away from a restaurant that once sat on Linda Mar Beach.
Those who find and value sea glass share a common belief that it returns from a journey in the deep, blessed with the beauty and serenity of the sea. It is mysterious and beautiful; a treasure that is pleasing to the eye and soothing to the soul.