• Cindy Zampa


PORTAL 52 - Week 27: Nautilis

The tide recedes, but leaves behind

bright seashells on the sand.

The sun goes down, but gentle

warmth still lingers on the land.

The music stops, yet echoes on

in sweet, soulful refrains.

For every joy that passes,

something beautiful remains.

~author unknown~

Everywhere I travel in this world so wide, it seems that shells, rocks, twigs and leaves grab hold of my attention, and somehow find their way into my pockets. I'm not sure what it is about them that fascinates me more - the colours, shapes, smells, textures - especially at the beach. They seem like little pieces of art - nature's sculptures.

There is no better place for me to unwind than ambling along a shoreline. Feeling the sand between my toes and the breeze upon my face, hearing the rhythmic waves, my eyes feasting on the vibrant colours... it does something to my body and soul. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow described it best:

"My soul is filled with longing for the secret of the sea, and the heart of the great ocean sends a thrilling pulse in me."

After painting this, I researched the nautilus and learned:

The nautilus is a survivor. At over 500 million years old, it is the oldest living thing on this planet. Some call it a 'living fossil'.

It lives in the darkest depths of the ocean, 200-500 metres down, where it finds food by using over 90 specialized tentacles which are each tiny chemical sensors.

It has a series of gas filled chambers that are connected by a tube, giving it buoyancy and allowing it to move up and down like a submarine.

It adds more chambers as it grows, in a divine mathematical pattern, which creates its iconic spiral form.

Fascinating, no? I found it so interesting, I thought it deserved a poem of its own, to accompany this painting. I know I'm not anywhere near the calibre of poets like Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, but here goes:


Nature's oldest living thing,

A beautiful sight to behold.

Upon the shore in waves it brings

Tunes for my heart-songs to grow bold.

I gently place it to my ear,

Living fossil shares ancient tales.

Unique pulse and echoes I hear,

Stories from the deep, where it dwells.

~Cindy Zampa, 2018

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