Do you believe in magic? A sea glass story from Kodiak Island

On Kodiak Island, you’ll find a special beach at the end of a forest trail. We call it Glass Beach. Tides deliver colorful shards of sea glass, twisted copper bits, even World War II dog tags. One time, Glass Beach delivered not glass, but an answer to my prayer.

Glass Beach is a high-impact beach, a paradise for sea glass hunters thanks to powerful waves surging across the Gulf of Alaska. So if you visit Glass Beach, be sure to carry a Ziploc bag.

Beach walk this way

Combing shorelines for sea glass is a hobby many beach-goers enjoy and Glass Beach never lets you down.  I probably look like an elephant as I meander along the tideline, dodging waves and searching for glass: Frosty white and gold, emerald green and brown. And if I’m really lucky, red, orange and yellow. Whether or not I fill my pockets, the tangy air and ocean sounds erase all cares.

In her book, Gift from the Sea, Anne Morrow Lindbergh writes,

“Patience, patience, patience, is what the sea teaches. Patience and faith. One should lie empty, open, choiceless as a beach–waiting for a gift from the sea.”

My sea glass sister

One day, while trolling for treasures on Glass Beach, I thought about my sister Mara. She lives near Seattle and had been going through some tough times. Like me, Mara loves to hunt for sea glass. And whenever I visit, we share long walks near the ferry terminal. We don’t say much; just wander around piles of driftwood, looking for tiny rainbows in the sand.

As I walked, I broadcasted this prayer: “Dear Father, in my search today, please let me find something special for my sister.” I paused a moment and then let it go,  trusting the Universe and tiring to be unattached to the outcome.

A few minutes later, I reached the end of the beach where a rocky cliff jutted into the sand. I watched an eagle fly by. As I turned to retrace my steps, I heard a firm but quiet voice.

“Stop. Look out toward the waves,” it said.

I turned my gaze seaward and to my amazement, a blue-green marble, nudged along by a wave, was rolling towards me. The marble came to rest right at my feet. Stunned, I shook my head slowly and laughed aloud at what I’d just witnessed.

I’d always known that “With God all things are possible.” [Mark 10:27].

But at the beach that day, I learned that God has a sense of humor.

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Blue marble, rolled in with the tide


Thank you for stopping by.

If your travels bring you to Kodiak, Alaska, let us know. We’ll put the coffee on.

Kodiak, Alask

P.S. Do you believe in magic?

More links and resources for you:

1. Explore the community of sea glass enthusiasts: The North American Sea Glass Association.
2. Little Planet Views of Our Earth: A photo essay

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  • John Siemens
    August 20, 2022 at 8:02 PM

    My family was stationed at Kodiak air station when I was a child from 93-96. I have fond memories from everything on this island, one of which was “jewel beach”. My father and I decided to revisit for a fishing trip this week, and one of the items on the bucket list was visit jewel beach. Better believe that I left with a pocket full of jewels and more memories to last a lifetime. God bless this island!

  • Amanda
    August 18, 2022 at 9:14 AM

    I was born in Kodiak, Alaska in 1984. My father was in the Coast Guard, so we lived there twice in my lifetime. The childhood memories I have are magical, especially the collection of “jewels” from this beach. I always called it jewel beach, rather than glass beach. As a child it sounds much more beautiful to me. 🙂
    I still have my collection of jewels, in various colors.

  • Leann l hoeldt
    May 25, 2022 at 5:29 PM

    Iv lived in alaska my entire life 39 yrs andmost of that time has been spent on the kenai peninsula iv never been to kodiak neither has my husband recently i started collecting sea glass as a hobby an just by chance found this article attached to a completely different article i was reading and now im booking reservations to kodiak!!! Thank you!!!

  • Catherine Courtade
    February 22, 2022 at 12:34 PM

    Hello. I’m going to Kodiak in April. Can you give me directions to the beach, or will a local know what you’re talking about?

  • marionowen
    September 15, 2020 at 7:27 PM

    Cheryl, access to the beach is located midway between the airport and the City of Kodiak. A beautiful train. What is your work schedule?

    • Riley Tompkins
      January 20, 2022 at 3:18 AM

      Is there a trail name or a landmark you can provide for where the trail is? Looking at going to Kodiak this spring and would love to check this out.

  • Cheryl Lefebvre
    September 15, 2020 at 5:21 PM

    Sorry auto correct. I am in Kodiak until December 2020 and I am on a sea glass hunting mission lol.

  • Cheryl Lefebvre
    September 15, 2020 at 5:20 PM

    Hi I am a traveling nurse I. Kodiak that loaves to hunt for sea glass (and drink coffee), where is this beach?

  • Kathleen Pearson
    November 24, 2019 at 7:42 PM

    How I miss being so near the ocean! It is important for me to stay near my youngest son so here I stay. What a great story!

  • Candice Falatko
    August 5, 2019 at 11:31 PM

    I had a miracle happen last week. It may be my first in 72 years…at least it is the only one I am extremely aware at this point in my life. I will share it with you sometime. Our hearts will be in Kodiak on Wednesday.

    • marionowen
      August 5, 2019 at 11:52 PM

      I would love to learn your story sometime Candy. I’m writing Hank’s bio for the service brochure. Sheesh, it’s tough. Just a little miracle to share: We met Jan at the hospital when the ambulance arrived. Hank had already passed. While we were all in shock and consoling each other, someone said, “Look!” Outside the building, next to the ambulance, grazing on a bush, was a young buck.

      • Candy Falatko
        August 6, 2019 at 12:53 AM

        So many broken hearts right now. Rest in Peace dear Hank. Our love and thoughts are with Jan and Linda. I hope to get a service brochure from some attending the memorial. So glad you are writing parts of it. Our son, Ethan said immediately, something in Kodiak needs to be named in Hank’s honor. I agree and also wish someone would publish a book of his writings over the years.

  • Candy Falatko
    July 26, 2019 at 1:06 PM

    LOVE! Thinking of your sister.

    • marionowen
      July 27, 2019 at 3:26 AM

      Oh, Candy… Thank you so much for your thoughts. Lovely of you. Hugs and love from Kodiak. ?


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