I spent the morning looking for a shell. It was a white one with serrated dark ridges over the side. It would be glistening on a soft sand dune with few dark sand crystals. Just the way I dreamt about it, last night.
After a few hours roaming the beach looking for this shell, with the sun on my back, I paused and took a dip in the water. It was a hot morning with the bright sun staring down at my solitary shadow on this deserted beach. The water was unforgivably cold and the salty spray refreshed my lips. As water trickled down the arch of my back, I straightened up to see the horizon for the first time. The horizon stretched endlessly in front of me, an ocean keeping us apart. It felt like it was the first time I had opened my eyes in that whole day. The horizon and I looked at each other, waiting for the other to make the first move. We stood like that for a while, me waded waist high in the cold water and the horizon with her unwavering gaze.
Eventually I gave up and turned my back to her. That’s when she sent me the first set of waves. I walked back to sand and continued looking for the shell. I saw one particularly similar but it wasn’t the one. The dark ridges had to be unevenly level. The white had to be a dull white. The shell had to be waiting for me on a raised on sandy dune. I dismissed it as I had done countless others and continued looking.
I began to sing as I often do as I looked. Pete Townsend came to my mind
I have looked under tables. I have looked under chairs.
I have tried to find the key to fifty million fables.
The call me the seeker. I have been searching low and high.
I hoped the shell would hear me and find a way to indicate where it was. I was starting to get hungry. I have dreaming about this for as long as I can remember. Before it was just a white shell on a beach. But as I got older, the details began to emerge in my dreams. It had to be a white sand beach. It had to have dark serrated ridges. The serrated ridges had to be unevenly level. And so on. I always wondered why the details only became clearer as I grew older, but I never questioned it. Why indeed did the shell not reveal itself in the beginning? I feel like I have spent my entire life chasing this shell.
The first wave had finally reached me after traveling across the ocean. I remember feeling excited. The wave was fast. It looked strong and dangerous. It was a mesmerising being, almost inviting me back into water. I watched from the sand as wave after wave reached the beach trying to seduce me back into its arms into to the water. I was not immune to its charms but I was able to resist the moment. And I had a shell to find! I couldn’t simply abandon my search for the shell could I?
Soon I left the beach for lunch. Hunger filled me replacing the frustration about the shell. I will return tomorrow though. To continue seeking out the shell and to be tormented by the horizon.