Today my nephew and I were sitting in the surf. He's almost four and has a healthy respect for the sea; in fact, he's terrified of it, so we were way up at the waterline where the waves could just reach us. I don't usually sit at all at the beach, and I'm not one to sunbathe or nap, either. I like to swim, or beach comb, or play frisbee or catch, or build things in the sand, but sitting still, not so much. Still, there we were, the outgoing tide carving little gullies beneath our heels and butts, and looking around, I noticed that we were surrounded by hundreds of tiny little clams about the size of a baby's fingernail. They were translucent shades of white, orange or blue with the finest of stripes and subtle variations in color. When the water left them temporarily high and dry, they would each extend a teeny, nearly transparent, fleshy foot to flip themselves vertical and then disappear beneath the sand in a blink. Enchanted, I showed my nephew, and we watched them together for a while. I picked a couple up and put them in some sand in his hand, and they buried themselves there. "Isn't that cool?" I asked him.
He nodded. "I love an ocean," he sighed.