13 July 2012

" The shore at night is a different world, in which the very darkness that hides the distractions of daylight brings into sharper focus the elemental realities. Once, exploring the night beach, I surprised a small ghost crab in the searching beam of my torch. He was lying in a pit he had dug just above the surf, as though watching the sea and waiting. The blackness of the night possessed water, air, and beach. It was the darkness of an older world, before Man. There was no sound but the all-enveloping, primeval sounds of wind blowing over water and sand, and of waves crashing on the beach. There was no other visible life- just one small crab near the sea. I have seen hundreds of ghost crabs in other settings, but suddenly i was filled with the odd sensation that for the first time i knew the creature in its own world- that I understood, as never before, the essence of its being. In that moment time was suspended; the world to which I belonged did not exist and I might have been an onlooker from outer space. The little crab alone with the sea became a symbol that stood for life itself- for the delicate, destructible, yet incredibly vital force that somehow holds its place amid the harsh realities of the inorganic world."
"In the discovery of the biological role played by the sea water and all it contains, we may be about to reach an understanding of these old mysteries. For it is now clear that in the sea nothing lives to itself. The very water is altered, in its chemical nature and in its capacity for influencing life processes, by the fact that cerain forms have lived within it and have passed on to it new substances capable of inducing far-reaching effects. So the present is linked with past and future, and each living thing with all that surrounds it."

The Edge of the Sea, Rachel Carson

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