I searched for peace

I wandered
cold
roaming the shoreline
The noise of life too
loud in my mind
I searched for peace
But it eluded me.

Up ahead, the beach had changed,
the sand shifted in the recent
tides, leaving slippery rock
exposed.

My path, more complex than anticipated.
I stopped
knelt by the nearest rockpool
and waited

Time passed

The light shifted

A subtle but unmistakable step over
the threshold.

The air bit at my fingertips
Blue morphed to amber
to golden
to red.

A twitch
A bubble rising to the surface
A spindly leg and pointed toe
emerging
feeling
sensing

To my left, another twitch

To my right, another

One by one, knees and mandibles
emerged
Shells traversed the sand
carried on thin, groping legs
sideways

One clambered over curly seaweed
up over around
Mandibles working
feeding

Crouched above them
I observed.
I watched the hermit crabs go
about their business
coming to life as the day faded
into night.

I forgot noise
I forgot cold
I forgot time

Until my stiff, human knees reminded me
it was December
and I wasn’t 16 any more
and crouching for 20 minutes
had consequences.

I left the rockpool
its edges silhouetted against
the rusting sky.

I left the crabs
breaking the noise
into tiny pieces
then burying them.

I carried my peace home.

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