Thursday, January 5, 2012

Lessons of a Sand Dollar


Poets United's Think Tank prompt is a  seashell. The seashell I used to find most often in Tofino is the sand dollar, so I am writing about it instead.

When I walk along the shore,
my entire being feels
as spacious as the sky,
and as empty.
I have only to step onto the sand
for all cares to fall away,
where all I hear is
the endless rolling
of the waves,
the song of the sea,
where all I feel is peaceful,
like a blank slate
with only one word written on it:
Joy.

In my consciousness
is only the expansive
and eternal sound
of the waves,
the smell of the sea,
the cry of the gulls,
and my feet,
walking,
my heart
relishing these too-brief moments
in my spirit's home.
The load I usually carry
has been divested
in the parking lot.
I will pick it up
again
as I leave.

But, for now,
I am here,
my spirit in tune.
I am home,
my heart lilting along
with my footsteps
to the ebbing and the flowing
of the waves,
in their endless dance.

The hard-packed sand
stretches ahead for forever.
My heart  dips and lifts
above the wave-tops
with the gulls, and
with the  flocks
of tiny seabirds
that constantly rise,
fly up, swerve 
and resettle back on the ground
as a group, like dancing.


When it is time to leave,
I pocket a sand dollar.
I will carry away with me
the memory of the sea,
and the beauty of the shore,
where I have replenished
my store of peace
once more,
by letting the sursurration
of the waves
wash through me,
through my ears,
my brain,
my skin, my being,
until I am as calm as
the lull between waves,
as strong and silent
as the smooth stones
scattered along the ocean's shore,
as patient as the sand dollar
that spins its house
from the sand and grit around it
and carries it within.

Like the sand dollar,
I am made of the sand
and the sea,
and I carry home with me
every time I walk away.

14 comments:

  1. I love sand dollars. A few years ago we found dozens of unbroken sand dollars at the beach during March. I made a cross out of them.

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  2. Beautiful sentiments expressed here. It is true a person can always carry home inside them.

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  3. I was given two sand dollars a few years ago with glitter butterflies painted on them from a stay that I had in Florida. I have them hanging on my wall and they are beautiful. You've captured the peace of the walk so well here. The connection between you and Mother Nature at her finest is almost tangible.
    I feel as if I was on the walk with you.

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  4. The last lines are fantastic. I can feel myself in your words. Lovely write !

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  5. You make me long intensely for a walk on the beach! Beautiful and vivid imagery delighted my winter-bound summer-heart! thank-you!

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  6. Do you remember when it was popular to wear sand-dollars dipped in gold? I wore mine out, maybe two of them actually - they were inexpensive but I loved them, felt closer to the sea somehow. Another beautiful poem Sherry and I felt like I was right there with you also ...

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  7. Gorgeous words. I don't live near the ocean, but I love to drive north to the shores of Lake Superior. I can totally relate to your words:
    "I will carry away with me
    the memory of the sea,
    and the beauty of the shore,
    where I have replenished
    my store of peace
    once more,
    by letting the sursurration
    of the waves
    wash through me."

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  8. I'm so homesick...this was beautiful! So many of your words mirrored the mood I feel when I go to my favorite place in this world. My seaside town by the bay. I'm not home till my feet hit the end of the wharf and I can walk along the magic shore. Thank you, it was wonderful and I felt like I was home~ (((Hugs)))

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  9. What Ella said—ditto, or almost. I love the ocean, and miss it so much. I lived in White Rock for two years before I was hired as a feature writer for the Kelowna Courier. I used to look at the lake (which I loved when I grew up there) and it would just sit, doing not very much of anything at all. Nice lake, but not the ocean. The smell and the sound of the ocean, and the movement of the tide—
    Rivers in Alberta don't do much of anything, either. LOL
    Beautiful heartfelt poem, Sherry, and I walked with you the whole way.
    K

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  10. Thank you for taking me along your walk.

    Reading the comments just now it seems you've taken many more than just me, such is good writing.

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  11. Oh my gosh - I feel at such peace reading your poem. You have such an incredible way of bringing stillness and calm into view.

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  12. Sherry,
    Clearly your time spent at the shore is a walking, moving meditation. It sounds healing and heart-opening. Reading this poem felt like that for me. Thank you!

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  13. I love the ocean and this made me feel like I was there, thanks.

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  14. I really get this, Sherry. I love the beach and everything it holds. I just took my granddaughter for her first beach experience while she was here and I think she gets the "spiritual" part of the ocean and sands.

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I so appreciate you taking the time to read and comment.
Thank you so much. I will be over to see you soon!