Surfing, shopping and shark teeth

If you’ve ever spent any time “surfing” the internet, looking for something specific, you know how easy it is to get distracted from whatever it was you were doing before.  In your mind, you keep saying …”just one more link… maybe this one will be perfect”….and before you know it… hours have passed.  I find shopping can often be a similar experience…. I spend hours inside a shopping mall seeking the perfect….. whatever, and then realize I missed those hours of creating art, resting, bike riding, or even catching up on necessary chores.  

Arriving on the Gulf Coast, I found a popular activity, especially for tourists, is to comb the beach looking for fossilized shark teeth…. “oh… there’s one beach that you can find hundreds of them”  were among some of the comments I would hear.  There is an abundance of unique shells, many encrusted with barnacles and other great finds from the sea to be gleaned here, without even trying.  But I found that the lure of shark teeth less than seductive to me.  With so much to see, hear, smell and experience, I could not envision my limited time here  sifting through buckets of sand looking for that perfect shiny black triangular object.  Had my head been in a bucket of sand, I might have missed the pod of dolphins two days ago, bobbing up and down like carousel horses, the fish jumping out of the water, the school of small fish swimming around my feet or the osprey flying over, carrying a fish for its next meal.

I’m not suggesting that no one should look for these little gems… it can be fun, adventurous, even meditative… Many tourists will bring these back for their grandkids or neighbors in landlocked towns.  Surely this a souvenier far superior to the obligatory t-shirt.  But for me…. owning these will not enrich my world more than the moments that would be missed had my time been spent on the pursuit of the shark tooth.