Patrice Powers-Barker

Inspired by the words of Bernadette Noll’s poem, I Want to Age Like Sea Glass, I too want to be, “smoothed by tides, not broken.” Noll’s poem is about sea glass and the tides of the ocean. When I think of the ocean, I think of summer and vacation and relaxing days.

Although similar to sea glass (from the ocean), I seek out beach glass from Lake Erie. This beach glass is smoothed by all four seasons of the year and by storms throughout many years. In reality, the beach is not always a beautiful picture. In the shallow end of my lake, on overcast days, the water looks tan as often as it looks blue. On the beach there is frequently human garbage, including clear, new, jagged pieces of glass.

Fortunately, there is more beauty than trash. The sounds of the waves are soothing, there might be eagles flying overhead, and finding a piece of old, tumbled glass gives that lucky feeling, “to be in that perfectly right place at that profoundly right time.”

I’ve gotten to experience middle age during a global pandemic. My calm is increased when I recognize being in the right place at the right time. My calm is the process of being smoothed and not broken by external elements. My calm is using beautiful, broken pieces to create something new.

I designed a beach glass picture as a gift to celebrate my sister and her personal and professional possibilities through Potere Coaching.

Patrice Powers-Barker

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