Collecting the sea

A jar of the sea, every day for one hundred days.

I walk out to meet the tide. Crouching down I offer out my small glass jar to the waves. It is as if I am making a prayer to the sea, kneeling at its edge. It beckons to me.

For a while I watch, attempting to judge its speed, waiting while water seeps in to my shoes, soaks up my trousers. Some days I am more patient than others, have more time, am more inclined to linger. Holding the jar to the ground I wait. Some waves scurry in obediently, creeping over the lip and settling carefully into their new home. Some take wide routes around and beyond it, teasing and drawing me closer. Some hurl themselves with such force they rush in and fly straight out again, heading skyward – repelled by the confines of a jam jar. Some bring with them sand and grit and stones that slowly settle on the bottom, leaving a still transparency above.

It has been a ritual continued for more than three months. It has surprised me how much has happened in this small and quiet time, how much the act of collecting – of having a daily ritual – has made me remember things within a timeframe more clearly. Like a diary, but without all the words. The physical process of doing creates a memory and record of itself.

Photograph by Nicole Zaaroura.


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