Who’s Crackling?

Walking along the sea shore under the moon light, silence is only broken by strange crackling sounds. A sound like I’d never heard before. The closest I could liken it to is a flamenco dancer playing her castanets quietly. There were no people, cars, radios or electricity. Everytime I stop, the sounds stop. I know for sure they’re not coming from me. I’m not wearing much and I’m walking on sand. At first, I thought it was my imagination, but it kept happening… let’s start from the beginning.

Sea. Sand. Sky. Amazing corals and sea life. Shooting stars. Milky way. Moon. Sun. Mountains. Birds. Date palms… Summer in Sinai!
Decompressing far away from cities. Snorkeling and free diving twice a day. Eating, laughing, chatting and sleeping under the stars. During the heat of the day, we sit in the water to stay cool. The water is so warm (30s Celsius) that I snorkel for 2 hours without feeling even slightly cold. The wind offers a little respite from the scorching August heat in the desert. Even though the strong winds prevented us from snorkeling in some areas, we realized when it stopped for a few hours that it was saving us from LOTS of biting insects.
Swimming in the Red Sea is like swimming in a huge aquarium! No wonder it’s top destination for diving and snorkeling. We saw several kinds of Manta rays, turtles, barracuda, lion fish, several kinds of pufferfish, eel, cuttlefish, schools of colorful fish of all kinds and sizes sparkling like glitter all around us (no underwater photos, sorry).
Like below, so above! At night, even with the bright moon, some shooting stars were visible. Then the moon sets and the skies become a dance costume with all its brilliant sparkling star formations: big dipper, Orion’s belt and TONS of others that I don’t know. Complete silence broken only by the strange crackling sounds… back to the night walk along the beach.

I squatted by the edge of the water and waited. Eventually they moved. Those seemingly dead shells, about the size of a fist, lifted off the ground, a leg appeared and the shell moved. Hermit crabs! When their crusty legs hit the edge of the shell, it makes a crackling sound. When several of them move around at night, they sound like castanets.

Hermit crabs use someone else’s shell for a home. They always use empty shells and never kill the original occupant. When the crab outgrows a shell, it leaves it and finds another suitable sized shell. These amazing creatures are an excellent role model for sharing. No ownership or possessiveness. I imagine a world where we halt all new construction and live like hermit crabs, sharing, moving, growing. “You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one”*
Magic moments spent in the bosom of Mother Nature. A place where boundaries, edges, beginnings and ends vanish. All that exist is one beautiful integrated symphony: Life!

* From the song “Imagine” by John Lennon.

#redsea #sinai #egypt #dahab #nabq #nature #naturepreserve #sea #sealife #travel #travelphotography #nabqnaturepreserve #نخلةالتل #nakhletaltal #moon #sea #fullmoon #sand #desert #mangrove #dates #datepalm #palmtree


2 thoughts on “Who’s Crackling?

  1. Thank you Hala for this beautiful metaphor, the sharing of shelter. I hear the crackling as I read. I see the shooting stars in the belly dancing costume of Isis arching over the night sky. Thanks for helping me travel to this place.

    Liked by 1 person

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