Thursday, September 4, 2008

My Favorite Summer Observation

One day this past summer I sat on a bench at the town dock in Noank, Connecticut.

As the sun layered my skin in warmth, I watched boats glide by on the Mystic River, sunbeams dance on the waves at the entrance to Long Island Sound and a young, skinny boy jump in and out of the water that lapped the sand on the tiny beach.

The boy collected shells which he lined up on a large rock. Snail shell, clam shell, broken piece of scallop shell and another snail shell. Once he arranged his shells, he bent over them and began to hum. "Hmm, hmm. Hmm, hmm." His hum was a tuneless, creaking seasaw.

Eventually, he looked up and noted me watching. With a smile as wide as his waist he said, "Sometimes they come out if you hum."

That scene was my favorite summer observation.

Observation. We writers do a lot of it. And then we tuck our observations away to use in future pieces. I'm already imagining a piece which will include the boy and his shells.

What scenes have you noticed lately?

By the way, I think he was hoping for emerging hermit crabs.