Oyster shells and looking for treasures in East Cork

I’m a magpie. I’m always looking for treasures. Sometimes it’s flowers, sometimes it’s sea glass but the real treasure is oyster shells. Last year I found some great ones – the top half of the shell all blues and pinks and creams. I returned to the same spot last weekend in the hope of finding more.

This year the shells were deposited further around the inlet and high on the bank. Infact the shells were on the grass. I had almost given up and then – jackpot.


There they were. I guess to some this doesn’t look like much but believe me, when I cleaned these beauties I wasn’t disappointed. Pinks like an evening sun, pearls and opals.. pewter and lilac… they just make me so happy. Each one is unique and the inside of the shell is so smooth, so perfect. Even in a broken and flaked state there is something mysterious and miraculous about them. The area where I found these is covered in mussels and I’m imagining the sediment of blues gets included into the oysters. Apparently there had been an oyster farm further up the harbour some years ago and now these are wild.


Everything about the day was special and relaxed – my better half was walking ahead throwing ball for the dog, who made lovely splashy sounds as she chased it enthusiastically into the icy water. I rambled behind, pecking at the shoreline and wobbling on seaweed covered rocks. I’m thinking the reason I get relaxed is because when looking for a needle in a haystack there’s no room in my head for anything else. I’m simply looking. I love this kind of task – the simple, the honest and the immediate. There are so many reasons to meditate, to include a discipline in one’s life. I do have a slight envy of anyone who can maintain the discipline – develop it. But I suppose the state is the most important thing, not how you get there. I’m wondering if ‘simply looking’ is my meditation. If that’s the case, then I need no longer search the web for the latest meditation cd, class or technique. That sounds nice. My only task then is to find a use for the shells. I have more than a few. But that’s another days post.

For now, simply breathe and look.