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Just a Walk on the Beach


I went for a walk on the beach yesterday. It didn’t start out as anything but a way to achieve my goal for the day. We took the day to go to the beach and I wasn’t going to allow myself to miss those 10,000 steps no matter what. But somewhere along the way the walk began to change for me. As I strolled south my eyes were mostly cast upon the really nice house with incredible ocean views, big glass walls and large beach front porches and balconies. I could easily see us living in a house like that but on a lake (maybe at the ocean too from time to time). But like any walk on the beach I started looking at the water and the shells laying strewn around the beach from the currents. When OI reached what would be my halfway mark and started back I was almost totally focused on the sand and surf. It was as if the homes no longer existed. People collect sells all the time but during my life we were not beach people, we went to the mountains. There were not many shell collections in our family. One particular tiny shell jumped out at me and said pick me up. I did and went to the surf to remove the excess sand from where a clam (or oyster) once took shelter. I looked the now cleaner shell over and saw that it wasn’t a perfect shell there were little bits missing and that was okay with me. None of us are perfect and neither was my new walking companion. I placed the shell between my thumb and fore finger and began to just move my fingers over the surface. Thinking about the history and future of that shell.I am sure that what ever bivalve creature lived in that shell felt safe and secure there. But then I thought were is it now? And why am I only holding half it’s shelter. Looking around the beach as I walked I couldn’t help noticing the flecks of shell embedded in the sand. The waves do their work and eventually the shells become part of the beach. Circle of life right? But something happened to that creature and we can be assume it wasn’t human intervention that took it from it’s shell. Either nature or a force of nature left it in pieces on the beach to erode. Is this little creature insignificant? Or is it living out its purpose by fueling the ever changing world with its creation and then death. And even after that it continues to add to natures beauty. Unless one of us pick it up and take it home. Even then one day it might return to be broken down and replenish nature. Just like you and me. But that is for another day. One more note, I put the shel bak at the waters edge when I was done my walk. It needed to be there just like I needed to find in and hold it briefly. But sometimes letting things go is the best for everyone. I never was a shell collector.

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