Uncommonly Coastal

I Want to Age Like Sea Glass…

I Want to Age Like Sea Glass

I want to age like sea glass.  

Smoothed by tides, not broken. 

I want the currents of life to toss me around, 

Shake me up and leave me feeling washed clean.

I want my hard edges to soften as the years pass –made not weak but supple.

I want to ride the waves, go with the flow,

Feel the impact of the surging tides rolling in and out.  

When I am thrown against the shore and caught between the rocks and a hard place,

I want to rest there until I can find the strength to do what is next.

Not stuck—just waiting, pondering, feeling what it feels like to pause.

And when I am ready, I will catch a wave 

and let it carry me along to the next place that I am supposed to be.

I want to be picked up on occasion by an unsuspected soul and carried along—

just for the connection, just for the sake of appreciation and wonder.

And with each encounter, new possibilities of collaboration are presented,

and new ideas are born.

I want to age like sea glass so that when people see the old woman I’ll become, 

they’ll embrace all that I am. 

They’ll marvel at my exquisite nature, 

hold me gently in their hands and be awed by my well-earned patina.

Neither flashy nor dull, just a perfect luster. 

And they’ll wonder, if just for a second, what it is exactly I am made of 

and how I got to this very here and now.  

And we’ll both feel lucky to be in that perfectly right place at that profoundly right time.

I want to age like sea glass. 

I want to enjoy the journey and let my preciousness be, 

not in spite of the impacts of life, but because of them.

by Bernadette Noll


We found this poem recently and were curious to know more about the author. We contacted Bernadette Noll directly and she was kind enough to give us permission to print her work. She is an impressive lady and has written three books to date: Slow Family Living, Make Stuff Together and Look at Us Now – all offered through her website. She has worked as a creator with Reduce, Reuse, Remake, which provides ideas for projects and building community through reuse. She also started Swag Lab, which offers an innovative, hands-on maker experience for meetings, conferences and events. She is a writer, a creator, a teacher and a speaker and can be contacted through her website at bernadettenoll.net for additional information. She currently lives in Austin, TX.   


We were thrilled to learn more about the inspiration behind her “I Want to Age Like Sea Glass” writing. In 2014, Bernadette Noll crafted a heartfelt poem that resonated with the depths of her emotions. Inspired by the unexpected passing of her beloved sister, Alma, in 2010, Bernadette found solace and inspiration in a simple piece of blue sea glass she discovered while walking along the beach. This exquisite find became a tangible reminder of her sister’s presence and the profound lessons she learned from her unexpected passing.

Strong As Glass

As weeks turned into months, Bernadette carried the sea glass with her, holding it close to her heart. Each time her fingers brushed against its smooth surface, a flood of emotions rushed through her, and thoughts of Alma enveloped her.  The glass, once discarded by the world, became an emblem of their enduring bond-a symbol of both fragility and strength.

Life Lessons

Through her sister’s death, she gleaned a valuable lesson: that life itself is precious, a fleeting gift meant to be cherished and embraced wholeheartedly. Alma’s memory infused her existence with a renewed sense of purpose, guiding her toward a path of joy, beauty, and fulfillment.

Tumbled and Triumphant

Sea glass, like life, comes into being through the relentless movement of waves, shaping ordinary pieces of glass into extraordinary treasures. Each fragment is unique, polished by the tides of time and circumstance, just as each moment in our lives molds us into who we are. Bernadette recognized that this humble fragment mirrored the essence of Alma’s spirit—precious, joyful, beautiful, and deeply satisfying.

Polished and Beautiful

I will always think of the poem and the story each time I see these special pieces lying on the shore. I too, want to age like sea glass. What a goal! Thank you, Bernadette.

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