14 November, 2011

Making Memories: a Sea Aquarium, in a jar...

Imagine being 5 1/2 years old. Playing along the ocean shoreline and finding a tiny little shell. Fascinated, you turn it over and over. It's perfect. You look around to show your Mama, and then you spot another. You have to pick that one up too. Then another, and another... Then a piece of tumbled coral... The search continues, as does the pure delight in each discovery.
And then it is deemed time to go home. Get out of the sun. And into the car.
"Can I bring these home pleeease". 'Yes, this time. As long as there are no live creatures amongst them'.

The part-full bucket of shells, stones, coral, sand and seaweed sits on your lap on the drive home. Your mind is ticking over... Live Creatures, Live Creatures...
You arrive home, jumping out of the car, only careful enough not to spill your sea-side treasures.
"Can I use the hose Mama? I need to wash these". 'Sure, but please fill a large bucket with water and wash them in there".
So you do exactly that. Taking the time to again look each one over carefully. Then you scurry off to collect all manner of things you need, including a jar... You call up to Mama...
She is intrigued. Mama comes down with the jar in hand to see what you are up to. And then she disappears to get her camera.

You are quiet while you work determinedly to fill the jar with water and place everything inside it, just right.

You hold the jar out to Mama with flourish "It's an aquarium for the shells, so they don't miss the sea". Together you go upstairs and Mama adds the finishing touch. A pinch of salt. You taste it "it needs more". You taste the water again. Ah, yes, that's it.

With a "Thanks Mum" you carry it to your bedroom, where it stays for many nights. Shaken, tipped, looked at, each bedtime.


  1. I used to make these as a child and have often thought of making one again! (I'm not sure mine were as beautiful as this one though.) The little starfish is the perfect touch.


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