We didn’t have a lot of money growing up, but the beach was always free. As a kid we spent a good amount of time camping and fishing, but my favorite was combing the beach for shells.
Over the years I lost interest. Time at the beach was replaced by time at a desk. Shells were harder to find and my collection was shelved.
Recently with the pandemic, I’ve tried to keep our three year old active and engaged. So I dust off my shadow box and hold my breath while he rummages through my childhood memories.
Surprisingly on our beach days after that, we start to find more. At first it was beach glass and a couple of purple cowries in Mokuleia.
Then in Haleiwa at low tide, we spot a cone shell in the shore break. At first glance it appears to be mostly rock.
But after closer look we find over a dozen. Not half shells or baby shells, but fully in tact, no pukas, real shells.
It might not be exciting for some, but to me they’re priceless, and the little man is happy to play along.
I was already satisfied with what we found, but a third spot washed up some of my favorites.
Trumpet shells, delicate sand dollars, purple and green wana. Nice variety for Oahu where beaches tend to be overrun.
I’m still amazed at what we were able to bring home. We wash and organize them in a row of empty spice jars.
After just a few months, we find ourselves with the start of a proper collection and reminder of life’s simple joys.