Scallop Shell

I was still exhilarated from the bounty the sea had offered me while trawling to the scuba diving spot; 10 albacore and a giant yellowfin (all of which would become our lunch at the fish shack on the beach in Mismaloya).

While the others dove with their gear for the coveted certification, I plunged into the cove with my snorkel and fins to see what other treasures I might find. She didn’t disappoint. The ocean was a miraculous world of pinks, purples and greens. I spied a crusty, brownish shell and snatched it from its ocean cradle then headed back to the boat. With great care I pried open the barnacled lump, astonished to find a milky, bite-sized scallop. A squeeze of limón made a briny appetizer and beneath this tasty treat lay a beautiful, iridescent shell to remember the day…


It was a sign. The scallop shell is the symbol of the pilgrim travelling on the Way of St. James, or the Camino de Santiago in Spain. In antiquity, the pilgrims would use the shell as a scoop to receive sustenance from households along their way to the apostle’s shrine in the Santiago de Compostela Cathedral in Galicia.

My pilgrim’s progress…



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