Beachcombing for Agates


For three glorious days in late April, my nieces from the Bay Area visited me on the Oregon Coast. The temperature climbed to an unusually balmy 75; the wind retreated back to the North Pole; and, the ocean threw up hordes of agates

Searching for agates (no commercial value) has become a passion. The tiny, clear, amber ones are like tears from the sea. The larger, coated agates hide their beauty until my flashlight reveals their trapped sunlight.

I like to imagine the agates, hidden in the Coquille River’s banks, nestled there for a millennium until the winter storms wash them into the Pacific where they are splendidly polished.

When I pick up an agate, I think of the ancient volcanic lava that formed these lovely stones millennia in the past—and prize the fact that my hands are the first to touch that particular treasure.