Long before cell phones, there was my dad’s conch shell. He knew how to blow through the hole at the end to produce a very loud, distinct sound that would call us home from wherever we were playing.
That shell and Dad’s love for all ocean life instilled in me a similar love for shells and the ocean. But living in Ohio, far from the ocean, it’s often difficult to remember the peacefulness that comes from an early morning stroll on a deserted beach, bag in hand, eyes on the sand, in a search for the perfect shell.
But my most recent shell acquisitions have a special meaning. While others have come from various vacation spots on the eastern shores of the United States, these come via a friend serving with Christian Peacemaker Teams. He found them on the shore of the Sea of Galilee, the largest freshwater lake in Israel, located near the Golan Heights.
Though every shell looks different, and though some originated in a place of great renown and others on obscure beaches, each has its own beauty and produces the same sense of calm and tranquility.