CAMPBELLTON BEACH, P.E.I.
Her head’s tilted forward and her gaze is fixed.
As if giving no regard to the shaggy sandstone cliffs, or the ball of fire’s slow-dive towards the Northumberland Strait.
Her pace is slow, but not because she’s walking barefoot through gravel. She searches for what’s hidden in plain sight.
Isabel Delaney and her husband Rodney are sea glass pickers, and on this sun-kissed evening they’re back on Campbellton beach in western Prince Edward Island, seeking treasures from an unknown time and place.
“It’s addictive,” the Fortune Cove woman admits.
The excursions started innocently enough four summers ago - a competition between two couples. The almost 10 kilograms of treasure she and Rodney amassed earned them the win but, perhaps, only by a mere handful.
They’re no longer so obsessed that they hit the beach before work, or on rainy days. Still, she can’t count the hunts they’ve had on Campbellton beach this summer.
Where do the pieces, some no bigger than a fingernail clipping, come from? Shipwrecks of long ago? She wonders.
Today, as usual, Rodney is up ahead. He walks faster.
She’s unconcerned he might beat her to the good stuff. “He always misses some; everybody always misses some,” she reflected.
“With the tide coming in and rolling out, it may have just uncovered a piece.” She kicks her toes in the gravel.
They compare their finds after every excursion. Occasionally, he adds a ‘tada’ moment, suddenly plunking a rare find onto the pile.
She spies a ‘blue’ and gives it a quick study. “That’s like the treasure of all treasure and, you know what, it’s a good blue.”
She’s found one spectacular “orange” and once spent $20 for a rare red fragment.
Then there’s her rare pink glass gem.
Rodney found that one.
It hangs on a necklace. Close to her heart.
Earlier this month, TC Media journalists from across Atlantic Canada went out to Chronicle how seemingly small happenings over seven days in August help define us as individuals – and dramatically shape our communities. This is one example of that on P.E.I. Click HERE to see more.