At my feet, sunlight shimmers off a small stream. My eyes follow its trickling over blue-gray rocks to the tide line low on the shore.

Wind fills white sails on the Sound. Mountains rise hazy blue in the West.

Children call and clamber on boulders that tumble to the water. They lift little rocks to peer beneath.

Purple Sea Stars cling to the crevices. Some of them, oddly, are orange.

A fat, long-tailed fish flits through a pool. Its scaleless skin feels soft and smooth, like silk. “A female midshipman,” Mark says and points to the yellow spots on her back. At night, he tells us, they glow gold like the brass buttons on a naval uniform. Her own brass buttons are sewn to the rock above, twoscore eggs or more, translucent in the light.

Crinkly algae, once dark plum, now sun-bleached a dappled purple-white, feels like waffle-weave terry cloth. Turkish towel, it’s aptly called.

Christmas anemone, red and green, hang bulbous from the rocks, waiting for the tide to buoy them back to their preferred shape.

A cockle in its shell—“for Mary Mary’s garden,” someone says—lies half-buried in the sand. A limpet and a chiton cling to the same small rock. Tubeworms tangle in bright green seaweed.

And a mottled sea star, small and white, its delicate arms outstretched upon the sand.

This week, I am grateful for:

2612. Sea stars

2613. Anemone, especially the pink-tipped kind. So beautiful.

2614. Serendipity: finding that midshipman

2615. Sunlight on water

2616. A great blue heron wading off shore

2617. Eyes to see

2618. Mark Plunkett’s passion about marine biology and his willingness to share his vast knowledge with people like me, who know almost nothing.

2619. A big beautiful brain that processes new information with ease (mostly)

2620. Instagram, which saved the day, as I’d walked out of the house sans camera

2621. Friends who lend me sunscreen so I don’t turn the color of a red rock crab

Your turn: What are you thankful for?

Please list three or four (or ten!) things for which you’re grateful down in the comment box. Let’s lift up a hymn of grateful praise to the Giver of all good gifts!

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Linking today with Ann Voskamp, who inspired the gift list in the first place.