It was the hottest walk I’ve ever taken on the beach.. I couldn’t believe that there was no cooling breeze. Snoopy and I went by car to the point, and set out, wading in the low tide and watching for interesting shells. We hadn’t gone very far when I just decided I’d had enough. I was up too early and didn’t want to go any farther. We went up to the high tide mark, and hadn’t gone 10 meters on our return journey when we came upon our first paper nautilus. The octopus was still in her shell, but had been out of water for far too long. One perfect shell, and larger than the first one I found.
I also found a few other shells – like a cowrie of a colour I haven’t seen before, and some rather large olive shells with distinctive markings, a light coloured pen shell, and a small bonnet shell that doesn’t show up very well in the photo, but is quite rare to find on this beach.
Quite a long time ago, I came upon a book called “Gift From the Sea” by Anne Morrow Lindbergh. It is a lovely, gentle book, written in 1955 by the wife of the pilot Charles Lindbergh. It is a book about life in general, and a woman’s life in particular……. jottings of thoughts on her solitary vacation at the beach as she centred herself and became aware of what was truly important in her life. She gathered shells as I do…… filling her pockets at first, and then, gradually she began to pick and choose the best, the most meaningful… the few that would always remind her of where she had been and what she had learned. I think that we do this a lot in life, with more than shells, surrounding ourselves with only those books and friends that enhance our lives, and shedding those that clutter or tear us down. We learn to treasure quality over quantity.
But first, I’d better wash those shells.