Ocean Calendar

Who decides today what sea things come ashore?

I have witnessed olive shell, starfish, and sea anenome days. Today was clear jellyfish day, with the small, diamond-bright blobs strewn like mirrors along the sand. Another was horseshoe crab day. The beach was a junkyard of their helmets, and I stooped to examine one still wet from the wave that had delivered it downside up. The creature—-part of whose scientific name is limulus, which aptly means “odd”—-was still alive, but barely. More spider than crab, it weakly waved an appendage or two from the jumble of legs at its center, and I turned it over out of respect for its being and its dying..

One day was baby butterfly day. I have no idea what these tiny hinged shells the size of my fingernail are actually called, but when I saw them scattered like petals, I smiled to think no one else on the beach was taking note. Like miniature fritillaries, they were painted yellow, tan, pink, almond; some were even striped. What kind of world is this that a shell is a flower is a butterfly? Do I catch the Creator’s eye when I say that word of recognition? Ahh!

Photo credit-Wayne Rhodes

One comment

  • Hi Suzanne!

    I love this post. I love how you describe the horseshoe crabs like helmets and I enjoy how you open with such a lovely question, “Who decides today what sea things come ashore?”

    My name is Libby and I got your name/business card from Maureen Kolstee. I go to Trinity in VA Beach and Maureen knows I love poetry (am currently working on my MFA) and she wanted me to meet you.

    I have enjoyed looking through your site. You are an inspiration to me, as I am just starting out on this new path (I was formerly an OR nurse in the US Air Force) and I’m just barely getting the hang of submitting my work to publications. You are very accomplished and I would love to talk to you more about your journey as a poet! I have always been an “artist”–mostly painting and drawing as a child–and I feel blessed to finally get to “indulge” this aspect of myself by learning more about the craft of poetry/writing.

    My family and I moved to VA last summer (from California) and have loved Trinity so far. I hope to meet you in person!


    Libby Kurz.

    July 11, 2013

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