For Love Of The Sea
Today, I’d like to write about seashells. I’m fascinated by them.
They are the sculptures of the beach, art forms
casually washed up on shore each time the tide rolls in.
Treasures of the sea.
For free! Imagine that!
Finding treasures for free!
Beach-combing, as shell collecting is sometimes called, is one of my favorite hobbies.
I’m not entirely sure why I love collecting shells so much.
I do know it’s the process I love.
Walking barefoot on the sand, my eyes on the beach,
the pleasure of finding a gem shining brightly.
I stop, pick it up, feel it and notice its striking beauty, its shape and colors, its contours and size.
I then decide to place it carefully in my bag or gently return it to the spot where I found it.
Usually, I keep almost every shell I find!
They’re so many shells on this little island, plenty for everyone.
I love that.
They all have stories to share.
Where did they begin their ocean journey?
Who inhabited these lovely little houses, now empty on the beach?
I’ve been walking this same Florida beach for over 50 years.
Every year I find new shells.
This year we had some powerful surf for a few days which brought piles of shells!
A beachcombers paradise!
I collected so many shells I couldn’t fit them all in my suitcase!
Oh it was so hard to choose which ones to keep.
I love them all.
The waves also washed up an abundance of plastic on the beach this year.
Plastic bottles, forks, containers, tiny bits of colored plastic, plastic shoes….
A high heeled shoe? Really?
There are locals who walk the beach twice a day and pick up trash.
I gratefully joined their efforts.
One walk would be a trash collecting walk,
another would be a shell collecting walk.
I chose to keep them separate.
Recycling is big here.
Beach cleanup days are scheduled regularly and lots of people show up.
They’re taking responsibility for all of us.
Now we need to take more action and reduce our use of plastic.
The less we buy, the less of a chance it has to end up on the beach
or in the bellies of our precious ocean friends.
Because, it seems that no matter where it starts, most of our garbage ends up in the sea.
An estimated 14 billion pounds of trash, most of it plastic,
is dumped into the ocean every year. (seastewards.org)
I realize that reducing our use of plastic is more easily said than done.
Plastic is everywhere.
We can take a step.
Any step will make a difference.
Here are a few ways to begin:
*Eliminate the use of plastic water bottles
*Use reusable grocery bags
*Shop at farmer’s markets as often as possible
*Purchase reusable mesh produce bags
Reduce, reuse, recycle
I realize that collecting shells brings me into closer relationship
with the mystery and beauty of the sea.
All those who create beauty
deserve our respect and protection.