I mentioned a few days ago that I like to bring shells back from our beach vacations and put them in a bowl in my office. Above is the shell bowl, in all its current glory, after the additions from our recent visit to Captiva Island.
I recognize that many of the shells are basic and wouldn’t sell for much, if anything, at a shell store — but no matter! Their value to me isn’t a monetary value, but a memory value. Looking at the shell bowl makes me smile at the thought of great vacations remembered, and you just can’t put a price tag on that.
I like shells. I have a bowl of shells on a table in my office, and whenever I take a beach vacation, I try to bring home a shell or three from my trip to add to the collection. Looking at the bowl reminds me of happy hours walking on beaches.
The beach on Sanibel Island facing the Gulf of Mexico is a haven for shell seekers. You see dozens as you walk past. They’re always moving slowly, staring intently at the sand, bending and stooping to get a closer look at the shells deposited by the surf, always searching for that one, perfect shell that other shell seekers may not have noticed.
For the shell seekers, the pickings are good on this beach. As the photo below reflects, the volume of shells is extraordinary; in some places it’s like somebody dumped a truckload of shells, and you’d need a shovel to sift through them all. But the shell seekers don’t mind volume. In fact, they welcome it. They’re on a kind of mission, and they’ve got nothing but time.
I have a bowl in my office, on a table between two chairs. Every time I take a trip to a beach, I bring back a shell (or three) to add to the bowl. It’s a little bit of whimsy in an otherwise functional office, and a pleasant, physical reminder of relaxed, carefree times.
I don’t try to bring back perfect shells — that would be frustrating and defeat the purpose — but rather shells that, because of their color or texture or shape, just caught my eye as I walked on the sand. This trip it’s a coral theme, with a ridged piece of brain coral, a reddish piece that is shot through with holes, and a globby item that somehow reminds me of a ghost.