It was the end of a long day of travel on the south island in New Zealand. I was traveling with my two best friends. We had developed a kind of rhythm in our weeks together, moving from place to place, setting up camp at the end of the day, cooking food, laughing together as the sun set, exploring and discovering. We were camping near a beach and decided it might be fun to try our hands at digging for clams. We crouched down close to the wet sand and started digging with our bare hands. The sand was wet and cool. The ocean was lapping up nearby, with the steady thrum of the tide. There was a familiar smell of salty sea air. We were novices. Clumsy at best. So not surprisingly, we didn’t come up with any clams. But, we laughed a lot. And the memory is really strong, because of the feeling of excitement and anticipation. “If I dig just a little longer I’ll find what I’m looking for.” And there was that mild disappointment at finally having to give up because it was getting too dark, and too cold. That was the one and only time I’ve tried digging for clams. There was the sand rolling between my fingers, and my bare toes, and that calming feeling that comes with the sound of the ocean.
Posted: Tuesday, February 23rd, 2010