I do not own Fabergé eggs, famous paintings or rare jewels. However, I have a collection that took over 20 years to create. This collection is so large that it took dozens of people walking throughout the day to uncover. The colors in my collection are green, brown, opaque white and, every so often, blue.
I own the most wonderful collection of sea glass, found on Beach Point in North Truro, Massachusetts.
We would start out every morning after breakfast to find this elusive glass. We would never keep a piece that had not been properly worn down from sand and sea. Maybe, if we were lucky, we would return to the cottage with eight to 10 pieces of glass. Most evenings we would take another walk to hunt for this treasure.
Anyone and everyone who came to visit was asked to walk with us to find sea glass. Anyone who found the prized glass had to give it to our family.
In the beginning, we kept the glass in a metal Charles Chips can in our front hall closet back home. But one day we realized there was no room for more glass. My son Garrett went out and bought a large, lovely glass jar. The sea glass was emptied from the metal container and the new jar was put in our living room. This jar was so big that it seemed that we would never be able to fill it.
Year after year we went to the beach. Year after year, people came to visit, and, year after year, the glass jar became more and more filled until there was no room for any more sea glass.
When I look at the jar, I see all the people who shared a piece of our vacations. Many are gone, many have moved away and, most assuredly, all have grown older. I see the sun shining down on my friends and family as we enjoy beautiful summer days. I see young people on our catamaran sailing by as the wind blows their laughing voices through the air up onto the deck where we older folks sat and drank wine and ate cheese and crackers. I see the sun setting in the west behind the Pilgrim Monument.
I haven’t vacationed on Beach Point in years, but every time I look at that glass jar, I am reminded of the joyful summers spent on Cape Cod.
For my 70th birthday, I rented a house in Truro and spent the weekend with my family. I purchased a much smaller version of the large sea glass jar for each of my grandchildren. I put several pieces from the collection in each jar and asked my grandchildren to begin their own collection. For me, this was an example of “from generation to generation.”
MAY-RONNY ZEIDMAN is the executive director of the Sandra Bornstein Holocaust Education Center in Providence.