― Ralph Waldo Emerson
Searching through the sand while taking a stroll along the coastline never gets better than when you find a shell that sits there, fresh, living, and etched into the sand, still, yet full of life- seashell. What started as a routine task(collecting shells) when I visited my grandparents’ place has turned into a hobby. From simply collecting all the shells I could find, every small one, to refining the ‘lot' to get a few more varieties, to making it a point to get up early only so we don't miss out on the precious ones that arrive onto the coast early in the morning, to adorning them in glass containers. The enthusiasm for this plethora of seashells is a collector's passion, and it certainly runs in our family.
We would enter the home with a pocket full of seashells, eager to compare them to the previous ones, only to be met by my grandma at the door, insisting we leave them in the backyard and wash all of our belongings before entering. They certainly stink, to be sure. They are, after all, all living beings. These seashells sat through several conversations around tea time, from relatives wishing to take home some of the many pieces. Even if you give it to them in groups of two or three, there's always the question in the back of your mind: "Did I just give one of the best ones?" After all, for a passionate collector like myself, each one has a special place in my heart, with little variances in paternity. Each mollusk species, including a wide range of snails, takes a slightly different technique to construct their shells, resulting in shells that are all very stunning in their own way.
The beauty of this passion is that you're always on the lookout for new shells that you didn't have before while also trying for better-looking shells from the species you currently have. It's always a race to locate the best one before another shell enthusiast does.
Not to mention the memories I created with these shells with my friends and family. They're usually a hit at our birthday parties and holiday décor, and with small LED lights inside, they give off a dreamy vibe. To bracing them in our fish and lily pond.
Treasures that never cease to astound!
- Saatvika S