My husband and I first came to Lincoln City, Oregon, 38 years ago on our honeymoon. With just a few exceptions, we’ve managed to make it back every year since then. There are constants here, and there are also changes. We still look for agates. I still take my traditional run on the beach (although I’m slower and don’t go near as far as I did 38 years ago). The ocean still reaches out to play with me and offer me her gifts. She still helps me put all my human distresses in perspective. I guess the ocean hasn’t changed so much – the changes have been mostly in the humans who visit her.
As I do every time I come here, I searched for treasure – agates, and new friends, and renewal. I ran into other treasure-hunters, too: There was Doug with his metal detector, scouring the sand for traces of gold and silver (he said he’d found three rings in the last week!); there was the lady from Salem, Oregon, looking for sea glass; there was the couple from Mount Vernon, Washington (15 minutes from where we live!), looking for rocks of different colors to make a map of the United States; there was the local woman who was looking for rocks of different patterns to use in her smudging ceremonies; there was Allen looking for the treasure of a good wind to sail his kite; there was Blanca looking for rocks with red in them; and there were the pups, Ryley and Reggie, looking for sticks and friendly people and things with interesting smells.
The agates glowed up at me from their pebbly beds – it’s always such a joy to find them – these gifts from the ocean. One big blue agate literally leaped out of a wave and landed at my feet. It was like he was saying, “Here I am! Here I am!” That was pretty fun.
“To see a World in a Grain of Sand
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
And Eternity in an hour…”