A recent trip to Freeport opened my eyes to the conch. If you haven’t been there you’ll find a big part of tourism is built on this humble sea creature who creeps along the ocean floor. It’s harvested in the thousands daily, showing up in everything from conch chowder, conch fritters, conch salad, and roasted conch.
There are conch shell dumps on the island. The small hills make for a colorful backdrop. Enterprising islanders clean the shells from the dumps and sell them to tourists for anywhere from five to thirty dollars. Other individuals make candle, ornaments, and other crafts to sell from the conch shell. The conch is a bit like a buffalo in the aspect that almost every part of is used and its very existence supports another species.
What can we learn from the conch?
Have you every picked up a rough shell and marveled at its smooth, beautiful interior?
- What’s inside matters more than the outside appearance. The abrasive nature of sand and the conch’s reaction to it created the silky, colorful inside.
The conch is a humble ocean floor dweller. People are often categorized into important and unimportant according to fame and money.
- The humble everyday individual is the one who supports the family, community, and stability of a society. Think you’re ordinary, then you’re a conch, not a bad thing to be.
The outside color helps the conch camouflaged itself.
- Often, we are disappointed that we aren’t showy, ‘beautiful’ people who attract attention. This ability to blend in is a good thing. Plenty would judge, not knowing us. Only those who take time to get know us, and discover our beautiful interior.
The spokes or points that extend outward may look like an unwieldy growth, but actually keep the conch in place as opposed to being swept away by the current.
- Feature we dislike or don’t appreciate can be very useful in life. Even painful experiences rather like the spokes help us navigated through life’s currents.
- This reminds us to develop a thicker skin and not be so reactive. Often remarks or situations we perceive as derogatory aren’t in reality. A thicker skin will make it easier to move through life.