Part of me wants to close my eyes, fall asleep and wake up to the sound of the ocean. It’s always good to be home after being away, even if part of my heart still lingers at the beach. I know I’m not alone in my love of the ocean. Maybe that’s why so many people search for shells on the beach. We want to bring part of it back home with us.
The number of shells I found this trip pales in comparison to what we found back on November. There were much fewer beach combers in late fall than in late summer. The type of shells I found were different, too. Most of the shells from our first trip are either white or close to white, much bigger, too.
I don’t remember seeing many dark shells on our last trip. This time, the only ones that were unbroken were almost always black.
Then again, many times what I thought was a black shell turned out to be a clump of oil soaked sand. They’ve done a good job cleaning up the beaches after the BP spill, but there is still oil washing ashore in the Gulf of Mexico. You only need to dig down a few inches until the white sand turns to gray in some places.
And I wonder about that.
I wonder how many of my fellow shell seekers (of which there were many) began to assume ALL of the black spots on the shore were not shells but oil soaked clumps of sand.
I wonder if we’ve become so accustomed to disappointment that we assume any potentially good thing probably isn’t so good after all; that if it’s still there when we find it, it’s probably not worth having.
And I wonder how many treasures we miss because we stop believing they’re still out there to be found.