A Stroll through the Shoals
It is a wondrous yet transitory place – filled with life and tiny tragedies. Strange creatures are born, some to quickly die, swallowed up before they can live their small lives. Others are stranded on dry sand, or swept out to sea by the fickle whims of the waves. Fierce battles are fought between seagulls for a tasty prize; but there is no chivalry here, no mercy in the shallow pools of a vast watery world.
Children love to play here, digging moats and building castles, stewards of a fantastical kingdom. For a brief time they rule supreme, but the tides inevitably sweep their engineering feats away; the Ocean is King, and in time the King will have His way.
One summer day we walked here, when holding hands was more magical than the mysteries of the ocean beside us. We came upon a bed of sand dollars stranded in the shoals after a storm. Grabbing at the dollars like greedy children, we laughed at how rich we were on this remarkable day, a day I will remember through all my years.
But more powerful forces are at work now than those crashing waves. Time is changing the ocean into its Winter incarnation; foreshortened waves are carving the cliffs of the Winter Beach. It is getting cold now, a chill breeze stirs the air. Snuggle into your Cowl as you hurry along, remembering the Summer Beach and its treasures. And do not despair, the shoals of summer will return again – it is just a matter of time…