Winter Sunset at Glass Beach
by Jessica Ehlers, January 3, 2011
Who needs loot from Santa with treasures like these?
We live close enough to get to Glass Beach by bike. Having spent the remainder of the post-preschool afternoon playing with Santa's offerings, a bike ride was in order. After second lunch, we were off. Enjoying the cool air on our cheeks, looking both ways before we crossed Main Street.
As we rode down Elm, I told him how when I was a little girl the buildings and houses over to the right were not there. Only a huge open field, back then. I told him how in the springtime those brown and withered blackberry vines sprout juicy blackberries that are good for making pies and how once when I was 6, a friend's family dachshund had once dragged me some good ways at this precise spot. (Referencing the old haul road which leads to the beach.)
He listens to my stories. Sometimes I watch him comparing my stories to the landscape in front of him. Other times, I see him glaze over as I remember doing when my parents would tell me stories. And so it is.
The tide was low. The sun was also low. That beautiful glowing light. We parked the bikes at the top of the hill and climbed down to the piles of glass and shells and ancient ocean-worn spark plugs. His pants had no pockets so my jean pockets were the elected receptacles. Remind me to bring something with bigger pockets next time.
The tide was low enough for actual tide pools. Woo-hoo! I touched an Anemone to show him what happens and when he shuttered told him not to worry, they don't have teeth. He wanted to know how they ate their food without teeth. We talked about what they do to crabs, spitting out the shells when they are done.
We found perfect Gumboot Chiton shell. We were buzzing with excitement. Did I mention my father used to take me tide pooling as a kid and it remains one of my sweetest childhood memories? Well, let's just say it's exciting for me to take my own boy to the pools at low tide and introduce him to the Seastars, the Nudibranchs and the Cryptochiton stelleri.