Sea Shell

I once believed that you could hear the ocean if you held a seashell very tightly against your ear. It was something I was told as a child, and I always found it so very magical.

How cool is that?

It’s like having a piece of the ocean floor recorded just for you, in something so small it could fit into your palm. I really did believe that wooshing sound came from the waves and currents above, and when I closed my eyes, and listened intently, concentrating on that woosh, I could imagine myself very clearly in the sea. And the ocean would be a greenish blue, slightly dark, but there wouldn’t be anything more than that.

It would be quiet, and still. And I would hear the echoes of the ocean floor. And sometimes the woosh would be low, and sometimes it would be high, depending on how far you held the shell to your ear. And I had thought I was hearing the ocean floor, right at that moment, where the shell had once been.

I remember listening hard for fish. But I didn’t know how fish sound like at the time, so in my ocean there were no fish.

There must have been some connection between the ocean and the shell. And i loved that connection. I would lie down in my bed with that shell cupped against my ear until I fell asleep just listening to the sound of the sea.

I would be floating at the bottom of the ocean, just me, by myself, in total peace and stillness, and that helped me sleep. But still no fish.

I read somewhere that it was really just me hearing the sound of my own blood rushing within their vessels.


Cool, but not as cool as the ocean.

I wish I hadn’t known that. Like how I came to know how rainbows formed, or how shooting stars didn’t fall down to earth.or that the community centre just down the street wasn’t really a satellite. (Like how my grandparents had told me) It really did look like a satellite to me.

Sometimes knowing too much spoils the magic of things. The wonder. The awe.

Knowing too much limits you, and ‘anything is possible’ means nothing because that’s when impossibility becomes a reality.

But … I’d rather it was the ocean.

So I shall just believe in what little I can that it is!


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