The beach soothes my soul. This is what it spoke to me recently.
I have always loved the beach.
As I’ve gotten older, I especially appreciate coastal areas during the fall. I don’t see the typical fall changes such as squirrels scurrying to bury acorns or the changing of leaf color, but there is a distinct shift that happens at the coast. Plants and trees make seeds. Butterflies migrate south along coastal edges, and the weather is cooler. Recently in South Carolina, the beach spoke to me in several ways.
The Presence of a Squareback Crab
This little crab, no more than 2 inches wide, sat with me for awhile at the edge of the ocean. It offered its presence, and I offered it protection as busy beachcombers walked by. The little crab’s wisdom was to notice and appreciate the small creatures.
Abundance in Scarcity
I love shelling. There were very few shells at the beach I visited, and most were very small. However, this lack of abundance helped me to appreciate what I did find. I was also more discerning of which shells I kept. The shells reminded me to take only what I need, for the hermit crabs need shells too.
Sea Star Washed Ashore
I saw a few starfish that had been washed ashore by the tide and needed help getting back to water. A few only had four arms. I learned that starfish can regenerate; however, it can take a few months or years to regrow an arm. The starfish whispered, “You can rebuild and regrow, but it may take a long time.”
In the coastal areas of the Southern US, Spanish Moss abounds. It is not parasitic but serves as a home for snakes, several types of bats, and spiders. Spanish Moss can be very unusual and beautiful. It said, “I provide shelter to often feared but vital creatures.”
The Moon Always Rises
The full moon rose while I was on the beach. It was October’s Hunter Moon. Its grandeur reminded me to take comfort in earth’s rhythms and cycles. The sun rises and sets. The tide flows in and out. The moon waxes and wanes. Each and every day.