Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Throwing Starfish into the Sea

snapshot of our beach today

Today, I went for a walk along the beach with my wife.  Since we moved to Sea Bright last July, we've walked along this beach many times and I've become very familiar with it.  But today I found something I'd never seen at our beach before.

a starfish on our beach

I've scoured that beach a dozen times, and I'd never seen a starfish before.  But today I found three of them trapped by the low tides in the ruins of an old dock.  When I first found them, they were covered with dry sand and I thought them no longer alive.  But after my wife had recovered one, she said it still felt squishy and asked if we should return it to the sea.  I thought we should try, even if there was only small chance it would help.  As soon as the first wave touched it, the starfish returned almost immediately back to life and my heart filled with joy for this tiny ocean creature.

dock ruins where I found three starfish imprisoned

We returned all three starfish back to the sea, and one clam that we found along the shore as well.  Returning these starfish to the sea was a unique, life affirming experience.  Of course I've heard the parable about the boy throwing starfish back into the sea that teaches us even a small gesture can make a big difference to those in need.  But to live out that story in the real world was a beautiful gift.  I think helping is always a gift for both parties.  What a pleasant reminder these starfish gave to me; pay attention to the world and help where I can.

tossing a clam back into the embrace of the sea

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