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Tonight I found a snail on the pavement and picked him up.
 

It took some effort. He had been nearly crushed and his shell lay next to him in pieces – most of it scattered somewhere I couldn’t see, and I felt this heart break as I thought, ‘there is nothing more important than doing the right thing by him.’ This relative who is sensitive to the environment, so sensitive in fact he will only live in an environment that can support life. I thought nothing but ‘find some green leaves’ and wondered as I saw his silver trail, ‘what’s the right thing to do?’ I decided earth burial and placed him under the hawthorn tree…. in front of the marina cabana.
 

A small garden protected by soft new leaves, I placed the two remaining slivers of shell. I thought  a moment after ‘perhaps I should have kept them, these two precious, dark shell fragments’ – then I thought, ‘no – best to return them to the earth.’
 

Morning flew, and I would think about the snail.
 

The symbol showed up on a water pipe, a spiral as though painted on.
 

The seashell on my car altar stood out, its creamy radiant spiral.
 

In a meeting, the shell shaped snail and his resting place would enter my consciousness….. and I wondered about him, his broken home and how careless life can be.
 

His visitations continued throughout the day and in the evening with friends downtown. Telling the story and thinking, ‘how can we repair what is broken?’ What principles do we live by that can help us do that?
 

My one friend told me that they, like frogs, can only thrive in a healthy environment. I felt this strange combination of relief with my sadness. A sadness for the earth, for the might and resilience of these important life monitors that tell us where it’s safe without a single soil, water or air quality test.
 

Walking home this evening in the darkness, the cabana shining its dim light, another slow moving snail appeared to be stuck, one part of his single foot seemed to be glued to the concrete walkway. He pulled in a bit as I knelt down– I lifted him – in his whole, perfect and beautiful shell – and placed him inside the garden wall in the spirals of spring growth and he proceeded to make his way upward, towards the sky.
 

AUTHOR - Char Sundust

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