S ometimes it’s the simplest things that make the best accessories, and this is one of my favorites. My friend Jill collects sand. She’s not able to travel much so she asks friends to bring sand for her collection. She says her goal is to someday return it all to where it came from. I LOVE that collection.
I try to remember to bring her some sand when I travel. When I was lucky enough to go back to New Zealand last winter, I knew just the place to go for sand: Muriwai Beach on the Tasman Sea on New Zealand’s North Island. It’s a fantastic beach to go to. It’s a nesting spot for gannets so you can hike up hill and look down on their lofty nesting grounds, watching them glide off the cliff. Down on the beach, the surf rolls in steady and powerful (all guarded by hunky lifeguards, which only adds to the appeal).
But the best thing is the sand. It’s black. It burns your feet it’s so hot, but it’s black and beautiful and smoother than sugar. The texture really can’t be believed, it is so fine, and it sparkles like it’s full of diamonds.
I filled up a liter water bottle with sand. It is so fine that I was really able to pack a lot in that bottle. I’ll bet it was a good seven pounds. I gave Jill half and I kept half for myself, which I display in a square dish with a few pieces of driftwood I really like for no particular reason. Not only does it remind me of that magical beach, it seems to be irresistible to just about everyone who walks past it. They all feel compelled to run their fingers through it and admire its color and even how it sparkles when the sun hits it just right. There’s a certain irony to the fact that I can spend literally years looking for just the right accessory for a spot, yet a few handfuls of sand dragged home in a suitcase draw more attention than any “object d’ art.”
One little dish of sand. A whole lot of pleasure.