Bare feet sink in the sand. Small grains fall over toes. The air thunders with crashing waves in a timeless rhythm. An occasional seagull cry cuts across the cerulean sky.
Shells pepper the line between sand and sea. Small shells, large, shells, brightly colored shells bleached shells; the small jewels rock back and forth as the shallow water licks them. Shells with different shapes, shells of different patterns, small clues to the world lying just off shore beneath the water.
Each shell tells a story. A prized large fluted shell brings to mind its recent occupant. What creature did it house? Was there more than one? How long did it live? How old did it become? Where did it live before the empty shell found its way to this very beach?
Many people spend their beach combing time looking for the perfect, intact she. But I am fascinated by the broken bits strewn at the border of seawater and sand. Broken shells reveal their interiors, a glimpse of the life that once lived inside. Pink, orange, purple, white, black tan — the diversity of colors, sizes and patterns hints at the life teeming in the sea.
Even broken, the shell fragments retain a beauty and utility of their own. Born from the sea, they slowly dissolve in the surf until they become part of the sand on the shore. Nothing goes to waste in sand, sea and sky.
I find myself comforted in the face of this impermanence, constant change and beauty in every step.