By Lisa Batten Kunkleman
As a writer and parent, I know the importance of inspiration for new ideas. For me, nature and especially the beach are where my five senses heighten like hair standing up in gooseflesh. Thoughts flow in faster than I can put them into long-term memory. Taking photos helps me save those treasured tidbits until I can jot them down.
My latest thoughts whirled around how much the shoreline is filled with diversity. Various colors, shapes, conditions, sizes, and ages of shells, serve as perfect analogies of human lives. On my latest beach trip, I filled an empty trail mix bag with sand and brought it home to use as a backdrop to my seashell wisdom ideas. It was too darn hot for straight thinking, playing in the hot sand in a heat wave, so I opted to play in our air conditioning instead.
I collected shells of all descriptions. Nearly perfect and broken, old and not so old, plain and colorful. A cross-section of mankind.
Back in the cool air, playtime began with a cookie sheet full of sand, the perfect sandbox for shell play. Believe it or not, this sandbox kept my husband and me occupied for quite a while arranging and rearranging our pretend humans in the form of shells. I didn’t tell him it felt like playing with our kids again, making up stories for their dolls or GI Joe’s to act out. Only this time it was with my idea man of a husband.
I’d arrange the shell people and ask what he thought was happening. Our ideas were often very different which suggests this activity may serve as good prompts for writers or parents. These photos and captions represent only a few of the scenarios we developed.
For parents and writers who need to get in out of the heat or stimulate some new ideas, setting up an indoor sandbox is simple and effective. It’s also easy enough to sweep up the wayward sand, so no need to fear a big old mess.
On my morning beach walk, I met a delightful new friend who shared her own shell analogy. She said,”I’ve noticed how even the beautiful, complete shells still have grit inside. I rinse them and it reminds me of how baptism can make us grit free.”
I’d love for you to share additional caption ideas for these photos or let me know if this spurs your own creativity.
July 5, 2018 at 4:41 am
Kindles imagination. Thank you Lisa
July 5, 2018 at 10:29 am
Ah I’m so glad. It surely does for me.
July 6, 2018 at 3:17 pm
You are welcome Lisa
July 5, 2018 at 10:23 pm
Your captions are hilarious!
July 6, 2018 at 12:38 am
Thanks so much. I try. Ha
July 6, 2018 at 5:52 pm
July 6, 2018 at 6:12 pm
Thanks so much. I had a good time with this activity.
July 14, 2018 at 7:20 pm
I love collecting shells at the beach! And it really does inspire creativity as we decide how to arrange them and what to do with them.
July 16, 2018 at 9:55 pm
Ha, ha, ha. Funny. It just might work! If not, if it doesn’t help generate any ideas at least (hopefully) people will have fun doing it!
July 16, 2018 at 10:57 pm
Thanks for reading. I had fun playing in the sand. It’s been a while.
July 17, 2018 at 2:12 am
I like the idea of air conditioning.
July 17, 2018 at 2:12 am
Oh yeah. It was awesome.
July 29, 2018 at 7:39 am
July 29, 2018 at 11:29 am
Thanks so much.
August 1, 2018 at 1:31 am
This post made me smile. Really liked the captions, especially the last one. If we can all learn to see each other similarities, instead of focusing on our differences…life can always be beautiful and wonderful. Thanks for this reminder.
August 1, 2018 at 1:33 am
So glad you liked it and agree. Something’s gotta give in our division. Hopefully sooner than later.
August 1, 2018 at 1:35 am
I sincerely hope so too…! Fingers and toes earnestly crossed.