Thursday, April 25, 2013

Edisto Beach State Park, SC: Gift from the sea

“The sea does not reward those who are too anxious, too greedy, or too impatient. To dig for treasures shows not only impatience and greed, but lack of faith. Patience, patience, patience, is what the sea teaches. Patience and faith. One should lie empty, open, choiceless as a beach—waiting for a gift from the sea.”
Anne Morrow Lindbergh, Gift from the Sea

 An older couple walked past us with two pails full of treasures. They stopped under the curious eyes of the girls and told us they had been walking since the morning over one mile North to the Inlet, something they had been doing for over 30 years at low tide. They were from Philadelphia, but Edisto beach kept calling them for its amazing gifts. With great care, they pulled some of the treasures from their pails and showed them to us, telling us their poetic names, names I remembered from Ann Morrow Lindbergh's book Gift from the Sea. Names like whelk, moon shell and argonauta. And then, with reverence, they offered each of the girls the 3 whelks they had found that morning. What a gift!

Then, on the next day, we packed a lunch and followed the advice the older couple gave us. After only two minutes, Aisha found her very first whelk.

When we reached the crossing before the inlet, the tide was still too high to cross and we happily recognized our passionate shelling friends from the day before with their pails already half-full. They were glad to see we had taken them on their words and had more gifts for us: a dead starfish and a mermaid's purse (an envelop that used to contain fertilized shark eggs). They showed us their amazing finds of the day: a pre-Columbian (3000 years old) piece of pottery (there was an ancient Indian settlement here a long time ago and there are lots of artifacts to be found) and a huge channeled whelk. We then proceeded to cross to the inlet. We had water up to our knees (thighs for the girls!) in strong current, but once we reached the other side, we had about two hours to explore and fill our pail! And we were pretty much alone!
 :: Pre-Columbian piece of pottery (circa 3000 years old) ::
  :: Channeled whelk ::
 :: Olive ::
 :: The girls found clay! ::
On our way back, we met another homeschooling family and we chatted a bit, the kids played together briefly and they showed us the best spot to find shark teeth (we found two!). What a wonderful day it was! We might miss our community when we travel, but those spontaneous encounters fill our hearts with much delight!

1 comment:

Francesca said...

i love that quote, love that book, and the stunning gifts the sea gave you!