It was because of the book The Seaweed Chronicles, by Susan Hand Shetterly that I was paying closer attention to the seaweed on the Rye beaches the past few days.
I never knew that seaweed, which is a algae, is responsible for 70-80% of our oxygen. I never knew there were so many different types of seaweed (over 35,000) or that we used seaweed for some many different things, from food to preservatives.
And although I don’t remember all the facts from Shetterly’s book, I do retain the wonder of seaweed that she was able to convey.
On this trip, I was particularly drawn to the lines in the sand the receding water made as it flowed around the clumps of seaweed deposited on the beach. It seemed an embossing or bas relief. Just the kind of smooth texture that I always, for some reason, want to run my tongue over.
I didn’t taste the sand, I know it wouldn’t taste the way it looks.
But I did get this picture of this drawing the ocean made with seaweed in the sand. It made me think of one of those classic Chinese watercolors of mountains.
I still want to touch the sand, even as I look at it now. And a part of me wished I had run at least my fingers, if not my tongue, over it.