We were steps into our walk on the low-tide beach when I spotted a large clam.
A clam as big as a softball, left high and dry when the tide went out.
When I picked up the clam for a closer look, I marveled at its response ... a slow-motion closing of the gap between its two halves. What was an already narrow gap closed and the clam pulled itself together.
It was alive.
I walked to the water's edge and tossed it into the ocean ... little did I know it was not the only clam left behind.
A wicked storm
The day before we'd had a wicked storm. High winds and crashing waves.
Farther down the beach we saw another, then a few more. They were tossed and tumbled by the surf, spit from the ocean, forming a line as far as we could see.
There were hundreds of them. Atlantic surf clams sometimes known as bar clams, hen clams, skimmers, and sea clams.
I'd tossed one back into the ocean, but there so many ... too many to toss into the sea.
Would it be the right thing to do, anyway? How long would they survive out of water?
We didn't have answers to the questions we were asking ourselves.
But the questions kept coming
Without the storm surge, would the returning tide come in far enough to pull them back into the sea?
We weren't sure.
So we did what we knew best ... let nature do what it does. Tumble, toss, and confound us with its power, destruction ... and beauty.
Just as it did on that blue-sky day after the storm when it offered an all-day clam buffet ... to the seagulls.
This story was prompted by World Aquatic Animal Day listed on the free, weekly Story Starter Calendar.
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Exploring the art and writing of short story memoir