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  • Writer's picturePooja Rathod

In between tides

To know what it’s like to be a creature of the sea requires that you let go many human concepts.

Time, for one, measured by the clock or the calendar means nothing if you are a fish or a seabird.

The transition of light and darkness and the ebb and flow of the tides mean the difference between the time to eat and the time to hide.

I can almost never walk past an intertidal and not think about the life that’s within these tide pools.

That day, hours passed by watching sea cucumbers curling their tentacles gracefully as they fed, then watching the shy blennies- thinking why their dens were always house-full, and whether one hermit crab knew the other ones walking beside him. There’s a constant conversation happening in my head with these creatures. I wonder if they are having one too, watching me watch them back.

Little by little, I found myself submerging as the high tide rolled in.

The sun had set, making way first for the brightest of the stars. I sat close to the shore, sheltered by a rock from the wind that gave me chills in my wet neoprene pants. I thought I’d leave when the light in the sky evened out. The orange at the horizon turned into shades of darker blues, the names of which I dint know. The sea gleamed with the moon's lambent silver. There was a thin insect tremolo from the foliage behind.

It took a while to catch the sound of a ghost crab amidst the sound of the water turning over the shells on the wet sand. One after another they emerged from their dens roaming the night beaches on swift and silent feet. One slipped into my footprint in the sand. Wonder what it made of it.

Far-away I could see a man standing under the light pole on the jetty peering at the sea, waiting to bag a squid. Umeed wondered about his thoughts, the gleaming lights from the island across and interconnectedness of us all. It was a beautiful day.

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