The Wonder of Shells
Whenever I’m asked what my interests are, I always list beachcombing as one of my answers. There is something just so magical about strolling along the strand line, hoping for that serendipitous find. Because you never really know what you’re going to find as you work your way through the detritus washed up on the shore. Some of my best finds have included cowrie shells, whole sea potatoes, and a sand dollar, but perhaps the kind of shell that I find the most fascinating is the kind I find most often. I love the kind of shell which has a spiral structure and a fractured exterior. I love looking inside these shells and marveling at the natural wonder of their form. For some reason it always reminds me of peering into a dolls’ house, where the regular inhabitants are off enjoying an impromptu picnic with the teddy bears. This empty home, normally sealed up and closed to my prying eye, has been made visible.
Unfortunately, I don’t get to the beach all that often anymore. When I lived up north, I was always within walking distance of a beach. If you don’t know the beaches of northern Scotland, they are among the most beautiful in the world; their pure white sand, red sandstone cliffs, and wild, rugged landscape signaling their untouched, unspoiled nature. Just beautiful. However, now I live in central Scotland, away from the coast, in amongst rolling hills and meandering rivers, which have their own beauty too, of course, just of a different sort. I do miss the beach though. Maybe that’s why, when we were at the museum at the weekend, I took so many photos of the shell display.
Do you enjoy exploring the strand line? What’s your best find?