I’ve been to beaches, I’ve seen beaches, I know about beaches, but I’ve never been as astounded about one as I was with Twiga (Giraffe) Beach. The sand was a light beige and I couldn’t stop yelling “It feels like flour!”
It wasn’t even powder. We walked along the beach, watching the couples amble by and admiring the distance the tide insisted on retreating to.
Every one in a while, you would see something on the edge of your line of sight, and if you chased after it, you would run at full speed, feet pounding on the ground, all to catch a glimpse of a tiny crab. Alfred, Ryan, and I found one and circled it, forcing it to skuttle angrily about, slowly losing momentum and the energy necessary to outpace us. It ended up crouched next to Ryan’s open hand and taking slow lethargic steps when poked. It was speckled with dots, delicate, nimble, and sturdy like a spider. All of this mixed with the unabashed friendliness that we tend to anthropomorphize crabs with.
While Ryan disappeared into the ocean’s horizon, I tried to explain what a “Great White Shark” was to Alfred in an attempt to pry the Kiswahili word from him. Hannah, Alfred & I wandered the beach. He told me that he loved the necklace I had brought for Kilines from Gertrud, made of eggshell and wood. When I told him about her art, he nodded, suddenly seeming intensely interested in the sand rather than my explanation of how she reshapes bones, eggs, wood, and gourds for her art. He told me he liked the colors and suddenly began bringing me handfuls of seashells.
As he brought back piles of seashells, I remembered pacing the beach, wearing a bright pink fanny pack, of one of Foster City’s lakes while my dad taught fly casting. I would marvel at small fragments of broken shells. That child would have been overwhelmed by this treasure trove of colors and shapes. I had never done anything with those collections. What would I do with these? I turned and asked Alfred.
He looked at me, astounded, and responded matter-of-factly, “They are for Gertrud to make more beautiful art”.
To see how we’re writing the legacy of the school, that Alfred’s wife founded, into stone, check out this page: stayclassy.org/annemarieqea
The San Diego Zoo has so many treasures from its flora to its conservation efforts and so much more like the San Diego Zoo’s secret gardens and Reptile House. From hidden pieces of art with a living past to the largest reptiles on Earth, this piece will explore these pleasures of the San Diego Zoo as well as introduce you to some interesting creatures from the small to the naked.