Shell hunting was a major beach occupation growing up. My mother took it kind of seriously. There are still boxes of shells in my parents’ basement. Waiting, I suppose, for some sort of crafty inspiration that I suspect will never materialize.
The thing is, we went to NC, SC, and GA beaches that, frankly, lacked the really sexy shells of Florida. I’m sure it was a factor of waves, currents, tides, water temperature and so forth, but there were a lot of plain, beaten up shells to be had. But collect them, we did.
It would drive me crazy as a kid that mother would be the one to spot the elusive conch shell on the beach. This happened more than once, to my consternation. They were rare gold in a field of clam shells.
It wasn’t until I was a little older that my mother let me in on the secret of the rock jetties at St. Simon’s and Hilton Head. During high tide the rocks would be almost completely underwater and would trap good shells, like what we called “rollers,” in their crevices and pools.
I love New England beaches. Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket have shorelines that I adore. But they have rocks. Lovely rocks worn smooth by water, sand, and time. But rocks nevertheless.
Somehow the stones, beautiful though they may be, do not make me long for summer like seeing a box of shells. It must be deep programming.
(Source: ginger-ella, via lindenroad)