Shelling has been one of the simplest, purest forms of joy ever since the first species that plucked a pretty lump of rock while scrounging for food thought to share it with the hapless creature nearby.

Penguins find the choicest pebbles to drop at the feet of a potential mate; otters give each other rocks to impress and to woo; and humans have been gifting their loved ones with various forms of precious stones for at least the past 75,000 years.

More than a romantic gesture, or a pleasant and relaxing hobby, the small act of discovering and sharing our seashells - these intricate, fragile beauties that survived the elemental forces of earth and ocean, finding their way into our reality to reach us with a moment of wonder - is an instinctive, universal response. It’s not the shells we share - it’s the moment. And for each shell we gather, many more are happily returned to the sand and the water, perhaps to carry another million years of wordless stories, or to their next brief rendezvous with another creature’s moment of wonder.

Today, you’re the hapless creature nearby that becomes the recipient of my shell discoveries. I’d love to know what you see in them.

Namaste. 🐚