I cherish an Indian arrowhead that sits in our living room curio.
It's dark gray with a faint beige streak. It has a sharp point and prominent grooves. It's centuries old, but looks as if it was chiseled yesterday.
Relics evoke wonder about the past and testify to a common connection of humanity through the ages. One wonders who might have used the arrowhead and for what, perhaps hunting or carving.
When he was 8, my son Erik found it on a camping trip with friends at Wildwood State Park in Wading River. The father who led the trip told us he'd been sifting sand and looking for an arrowhead for years, never finding one. He was amazed at my son's serendipitous discovery.
"There was Erik at the top of a dune with my daughter," the dad said. "He looked down at the sand and there it was."
Erik gave the arrowhead to me. I put it on display in the curio.
Recently, I decided to find out more about the arrowhead. My husband and I took it to Garvies Point Museum in Glen Cove and had it analyzed by staff professionals in archaeology and other sciences.
They said it is a "Genesee point," a type common to upstate New York but also found downstate and in southern New England. Similar ones have been dated to 2980 to 2013 BCE and would have been used as projectile points or knives.
We decided to explore the Wildwood State Park beach on the Sound. The trip was long overdue. We wanted to retrace our son's discovery, hoping that the sands of time might give up treasures as they did for Erik so many years ago.
The beach was empty. We scanned the panorama of cliffs with heavy brush and sand bluffs that cascaded down from the wooded ridge. Signs everywhere warned people to keep off the bluffs because they are collapsing from erosion.
The seashore at the Sound was covered with big and small rocks and minute seashells that blanketed the sand like nature's carpet.
I found myself mesmerized by the shoreline, but when I looked up, I noticed my husband wandering in the distance, studying the ground by the bluffs. His back was turned to me. It looked like he was deep in thought as he searched for something.
I knew what he was thinking. He was hoping to find an arrowhead as our son had done 30 years ago.
After a while, we left.
"Well, I guess we don't have Erik's luck," he said.
At home, I looked at the arrowhead in the curio and thought to myself, how wonderful if we could only protect our children from life's dangers, as well as we can preserve our artifacts.
We lost Erik 10 years ago at the age of 25. The pain of that loss is timeless. It is the same today as it was yesterday and will be tomorrow -- just like the arrowhead he found so many years ago. And the love we have for him is eternal.
Reader Gloria Schramm lives in North Bellmore.