My head is bowed, my concentration in and out of intenseness
on this leisure seashell hunt,
looking along the shore for treasures no longer sunk.
Nothing occupies my mind, for once, except for the task at hand,
approaching each disruption to the smoothness of the tide-wiped sand,
natural remnants scattered seemingly haphazardly here and there
by a surf that reliably ebbs and flows in musical time
but carries random particles latched onto waves for the ride.
There is no rhyme,
only reason, for what gets washed ashore.
For me, it is always personal, always Fate, Serendipity, Destiny, or more,
ultimately God bringing the specific treasure to my feet alone,
meant only for my sandy fingers to pick up and hold,
treasures containing clues only I can decipher,
special purposes that will be revealed to me when the timing is right,
magic released only when certain words are spoken by my lips,
my breath the specific required ingredient.
This treasure hunt, though performed by countless others now,
before, and in every tomorrow,
though such a popular tradition, is only selfishly for and about me.
I wonder if it is to each.
Because I am one to champion on land the weeds,
the dandelions, the wildflowers blooming
from unplanted wind-blown seeds,
here at the beach,
I find extra-special meaning in the broken, partial shells
and do not immediately dismiss them in a search of something else,
whole, by others’ standards, perfect.
The morning sun, still rising, just above the horizon,
reaches directly for a broken shell up ahead,
the beam lighting up the water in a path
filled with celestial tenderness
much like the first rays of dawn seem to so personally
through the leaves on land reach through to specifically speak to me.
The way the warm, orange light fills the broken part of the shell
makes it more beautifully full,
more substantially whole, than any possible other.
It speaks to me of a heart healed and renewed and regrown by love.
Being early, and low tide, it is prime time for shell collecting;
I am the first to lay eyes on some of these, have first pickings.
I happen upon the jackpot, though it is not as much fun as a depletion,
for now it is just a matter of selecting
from the lot, but the abundance and the way they sparkle
in the early light fills me with awe,
its spectacularness undeniable.
So I revel in the beauty of the unexpected encounter,
my senses quite flooded with the wonder.
I get down low to photograph them from their perspective,
clustered along the sea-land border as if in silent reverence
themselves in the God-blessed new day
as the Great Ball of Orange Fire ever so slowly ignites with a glow
the water and morning in a grandiose display,
rising above the aquahorizon in a ritual so sacred,
not just another sunrise but the one that bestows upon us this new day gifted
that we take for granted too easily, too often.
For it and this moment, I pay homage.
I give thanks to God, my Father.
Head still bowed, upon the treasures, I return my gaze
and pick through for the ones that happen to spark in me something
I just can’t quite place…
Poem and images ©LauraDenise
Poet’s note: So this was supposed to be a reflective essay… I tried really hard! But I couldn’t stop thinking and writing like a poet! My prose is doomed! I can’t get the poetry out of it!