The Sand Dollar

Beach day 121215Five or six years ago, about this time of year, Joe & I had lunch at our favorite spot on the Canaveral National Seashore and then headed over to New Smyrna Beach (NSB). Walking the coast had quickly become one of our favorite weekend activities and my newest obsession at the time was finding a full sand dollar on the beach. We always see pieces of sand dollars washing up on the shore but I had never actually found a full sand dollar.

This particular day we had been walking for a few hours and I kept finding piece after piece of sand dollars but nothing more. As we headed back towards our car, Joe called for me to walk closer to where he was, away from the waterline where the waves were crashing. I made my way towards him, my feet kicking up the sand as I walked. He reached out for my hand and as I held it he pulled me towards the piles of seaweed that had washed up during the last high tide. After a few steps, I noticed a light gray shape sticking out amongst the dark green weeds. I reached down and picked it up, cradling the gentle shape in my hands. It was perfect – round with five dark ovals around the center and a small barnacle attached at the top. I found it! My first perfect sand dollar. Thanks to my husband.

I’ve been searching for another ever since. With the exception of a baby sand dollar we found while on a cruise a few years ago (and left alone), I have yet to find another full sand dollar. Each time we travel to the beach, I search the waves for a sand dollar floating about.

We spent today at NSB. It’s my nadir period, so we decided to head to the beach and soak in the sand, the sea and the sun. My happy place – the beach is good for the soul.

As my husband hooked up his fishing pole, I told Jacob about his parents’ walk on the beach years ago. I shared my excitement about finding this sand dollar and explained that I’ve been looking for another ever since. Jacob and I decided to spend the day looking for our own perfect sand dollars.

Within just a few minutes of starting our search, a sand dollar floated in on the waves, caught in the small pond that formed. I reached down and picked it up from where it was floating in the water. I handed it to Jacob excitedly. He held it in his little hands and yelled “Dada!” excited to share our find with him.

We found a sand dollar! We set the sand dollar near our chairs and then Jacob & I continued playing in the surf. We walked where the water met the sand, picking up shell after shell to explore. We even found a jelly fish float up, wiggling its tentacles about as it tried to make its way back to the ocean.

As we walked back to where Dad was fishing, Jacob’s little hand in mine, the waves crashed again and a round, gray form caught my eye. As it floated freely in the surf, I reached down and picked it out of the cool ocean water. Another perfect sand dollar.

My excitement spilled over to Jacob and we both excitedly ran up to Dad to show him our find. He smiled brightly. What are the chances?!

I’ve decided our little man is good luck. Today has proven that.

*No sand dollars were harmed in the making of this post. All sand dollars were dead when found, also known as “tests”.

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