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There is a small sea animal called an auger (we always called them drills because that is what the little animal did– drill a hole in the hinge of a small clam to open it, then eat it).

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Either this little animal then dies or something else eats it. Either way the abandoned shell is often found on beaches.

Picture0204181202_1.jpgAuger shells rescue dogs Lily and Lulu and I found recently

Nothing in the ocean goes to waste evidently (except human trash– plastic bags, cans, fruit peels, cigarette butts) because often a small crab, hermit crab, finds the shell and makes it its home until it is outgrown and moves on to a larger discarded shell.

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Even in the dark, cold ocean these little creatures are at home. Out of the water, bright artificial lights and dry air they will die in a matter of hours.

When I find myself in the dark time stops. It gets scary. Answers don’t come. I feel out of my shell. I wait, wrack my brain, pose theories, test them to logical conclusions, attempting to factor in components that may affect outcomes. I talk to my rescue dogs, they listen intently turning their heads interpreting intonation, verbal sounds, scents of my feelings. But they don’t offer advice. Not always, anyway.

This is anxiety. And I remember a favorite Bible verse: “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God. And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, will keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:4-6)

I still may not have any answers but I have something more important. I have peace. I am no longer giving myself headaches trying to worry out a solution or response or reason or answer.

This peace is not a new shell to grow into but I have let go in order to find understanding.

A sunny day, still very cold, we picked a few of these shells.  Later I took the shells out of the container we’d collected them in to see a little crab in its shell clambering around. I had checked each one very carefully to see they were empty when I picked them up. This little one was cold-stunned and drawn far into the shell. Being inside the warmth revived it. So we put it back into the container and took it back to the water.

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