My Angel Wing Moment

By Cecilia Auth

angel wing shell on the beach

You may start a beachcombing excursion with a wish or hope to find a specific piece, shell, or artifact, but then discover an unexpected, breathtaking moment. You may find “the one” that speaks to you just when you need it. Your angel wing moment. 

On a shelling excursion one day, I had my sights set on finding the coveted junonia shell. We were going to the Ten Thousand Islands, south of Marco Island, Florida, so of course I envisioned trillions of shells and that I would find “the one.”

The conditions were perfect for finding those incredible, hard-to-reach treasures: early morning, low tide, and a full moon. I just knew I was going to find a junonia shell. I stepped onto a secluded beach after crossing through a shallow pool of water between shoreline and sandbar. As I approached the sand I set my eyes on a large horizontal white object: a six-inch angel wing shell.

huge angel wing seashell

It took my breath away. I quickly snapped a photo before picking it up to remember how I discovered it. It was a truly magically moment, and I almost didn’t want to disturb the shell, but I knew it was waiting for me.

This was “the one” for me and taught me a lesson that stuck with me. We all may be looking for something specific, but I believe we discover what we’re supposed to on our journey of beachcombing. Patience and peace were my personal message of the day.

Junonia, I know we’ll meet…when you’re “the one” for the day!

Learn more about seashells

nature and history of seashells and collecting

Learn more about identifying shells, the history of seashell collecting, great shelling beaches, and the lives of the animals who make the shells we find on the beach. Articles ›

No live shelling: Be sure shells are empty and sand dollars, sea stars, and sea urchins are no longer alive before you bring them home.

This article appeared in the Beachcombing Magazine May/June 2022 issue.

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