Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Evidence of the Druids of Summer

Every year the unseen people I called our local "Druids" -- meaning nature worshipers -- gather at the far end of my favorite beach, which is on a conservation area, a narrow spit of land between ocean and creek's outflow, where the farthest end is a mile from the entrance to the area. There they have built cairns, a large circle of rock perfect for sitting around (but I've never seen evidence of  fire in the center of the circle - much to my surprise), and they festoon dead trees with shells.  This tree was alive until last fall's hurricane sucked the shallow layer of soil out from under it.  Now it clings to the sand into which it's longest roots have sunk, but it is dead.  However, it's become the bearer of all these shells. And this year, for the first time, it has been given a necklace of horseshoe crab shells. Notice they are lined up so that the tails all point toward the tree.

The casual visitors who settle near the other end of this spit of land probably do not come out here and do not know that some small group of people play with the natural detritus as people have probably done since the beginning of human consciousness.  Of course, they are not Druids, but I have no better name for them.  I think of them as young people, maybe college students, but, in fact I don't know -- who create this kind of natural memorial to dead sea creatures.  Perhaps it is people of all ages.  I've occasionally added a shell, occasionally lined up some horseshoe crab shells on the sand.  The impulse to rearrange nature's artifacts may exist in all of us. It's probably related to the earliest impulses humans had to bury their dead and leave a marker, a stone, where they rest.

1 comment:

zippiknits said...

Seashells in themselves are very tempting to pattern-make with. A tree, dead or alive is definitely a very tempting thing to festoon.

Shells are so beautiful. Glad you got a snap of the latest offering from the local(perhaps) Blue People.