Enjoying nature’s awesome beauty

Published 9:25 am Thursday, March 28, 2013

It’s hard not to be amazed by nature.

There have been countless times in my life I have realized this.

In addition to amazing me, nature always seems to bring me back to center. I often find peace just sitting staring at the stars, listening to waves crashing on a beach, smelling the earthy scent in the woods or feeling the cool air of the morning on my face.

Even as a child I lived for the outdoors. I was a bit of a tomboy when I was younger and I was always dragging my neighborhood friends to marshy areas to catch tadpoles and minnows or to the woods to build a fort under a fallen tree.

Although my fort building days are long behind me and I’m now squeamish about anything slimy or scaly, I still love being outside, either on the porch reading, digging in my flower pots or taking a walk.

I guess the thing I enjoy most about being in nature is how it often puts me in my place. It’s easy to get caught up in the day to day operations of life in general. As unpredictable as nature can be there are still checks and balances, a methodical rhythm to it, which reminds me that I am a very small part of something huge.

Last Thursday, my mom, two of my aunts and I went to the Outer Banks. It was my 31st birthday on Friday; it was my Aunt Maureen’s second trip to the area and we wanted to take her to the beach.

As for me, I’m always up for a beach trip, even if I’m turning a year older and despite it seeming like one of the coldest springs we’ve ever had.

But Aunt Maureen and I braved the harsh cold along the shore each evening we were there to watch the sunset, relish the peaceful beach and search for shells and other trinkets from the ocean.

While Aunt Maureen was searching for the perfect shell to take home to her granddaughter, Addison, I was searching for sea glass.

I had not searched for sea glass since I was a kid. Growing up on the shore of Lake Ontario in New York, sea glass (or beach glass as we called it) was a dime a dozen. I remember emptying my pockets after a day on Sodus Point beach. They were filled to the top with colorful sea glass—deep blues, greens, browns and clear. I always chose to store them in my jewelry box like treasured gems.

Now at 31 on the Outer Banks, I had an idea to use the glass for something crafty. Perhaps, I would make a necklace or fancy up a mirror.

The ocean beach proved to be a little less giving when it came to sea glass, but I did find a few pieces. Aunt Maureen found an aqua-colored piece and generously gave it to me.

Holding the small, delicate piece of glass worn smooth and frosted by tumbling ocean waves is just one small way of seeing the beauty nature can bring.

Amanda VanDerBroek is a Staff Writer for the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald. For comments and column suggestions email: amanda.vanderbroek@r-cnews.com or call (252) 332-7209.