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Lavender-scented fingertips

"Fernandina Beach, Amelia Island, Florida.

Classroom for my first nature lesson, this was where I collected seashells and starfish, pieces of art that had been tossed up from the ocean. At low tide, especially after a storm, I could begin this great treasure hunt, digging in the sand and filling up my green plastic bucket. Once, when I was five years old, my father took me to the beach at night to find shells by moonlight. White starfish shone, glowing in a vast patch, and my father asked, Did they come from the sea or had they fallen from the sky?

"Back home I lined my finds along the edge of the bathtub, creating a ring that echoed the ocean and its beauty. I can't fully explain why I find seashells irresistible. Their form, their harmony -- there's something mysterious, meticulously mathematical, yet fluid about them. Something wise. And the array of colors! An orange horse conch, a rose-petal cochina, a blue chambered nautilus, and my favorite: the moon shell, a pearl gray spiral with another, more exotic name, shark eye.

"I used to look for perfect shells, but as an adult I began to love and value broken shells. Because that is what happens to us. There is a natural chipping away that I accept as part of the human experience."

    --Sue Monk Kidd, author of The Secret Life of Bees and The Mermaid Chair
    (as seen in June issue of Real Simple magazine. Used without permission.)

I want
    to go somewhere that is green,

alive with lush vegetation,
where the sun shines most of the time,
earth buzzes and flickers,
long-legged pink birds with exotic names like 'flamingo',
summer is permanent and nights are sultry,
where I have friends and people love me,
ocean-salt and key lime-scented air,
shrimping and palm tree adventures,
where is that place,
oh yes,
it is far,
far south of here,
and for now exists only in my dreams,
memories of a 12-year-old,
the land,
my heart ...
is it Heaven?
what else


    --Sarah Apsey, June 18, 2005, Grand Rapids, Michigan


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 22nd, 2005 04:37 am (UTC)
nice :) I can take you on a tour of heaven and it's pearl necklaces, I mean gates. :P
Jun. 22nd, 2005 04:49 am (UTC)
Of course, as usual, I was *hoping* you'd volunteer that! :) :)
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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