When I was young money was not abundant and vacations were within a few hour drive when we were blessed to have them. One year, much to my surprise, we went to Ocean City Maryland. This was the very first time I had ever seen the ocean in person. It was much more beautiful than any television show or movie could portray it with the sand, water, and activity all along the boardwalk.
The view was stunning and the ocean was simply endless. Along the boardwalk was a vast beach of sand, a wooden peer, and countless little shops filled with the wonders of just about everything you could think of on top of all of the creations utilizing sea shells. My desire to find these treasures on my own grew with each item I discovered.
The second day of our trip we spent all day at the beach. This was a simpler and safer time and I often wandered off on my own to explore. With so many beach goers it was nearly impossible to find more than a few small shells often broken along the shore. This was of course a disappointment. On day three this changed. I begged my father to allow me to go to the beach early in the morning before too many others would likely be there. Not being a morning person he was reluctant to oblige but after this persistent daughter would not let up he finally agreed.
It was in fact a safer time and there was little to no danger in me exploring this new world on my own. The most likely danger would be not obeying traffic laws and being struck by a vehicle but even this was unlikely at such an early hour as traffic was nearly nonexistent. I began my morning stroll first close to the boardwalk that no longer consisted of tourists, musicians, and others who showed their various talents. I quickly began moving closer and closer to the water. It was a beautiful view. The sun coming up over the edge of world was stunning. The sky was filled with all shades of pinks, blues, and purples with a touch of yellow and orange. How incredible.
As I moved closer to the shore taking in the scent of salt within the air I began collecting more and more seashells that were solid and whole, but I never expected to find what came next. When I was young my grandmother had given me a sand dollar necklace while telling me the story of the doves legend had said were within. As I scanned the sands close to the water my eyes were drawn to something sticking out. Not only was it a nice sized sand dollar but it was completely in tact. This discovery assured me that these, these in fact, were the coins of the sea.