Our edge of the Delaware Bay is much like the edge of any bay, littered with life and its leftovers. High tide smells alive, and low tide carries the pungent sweet smell of decay.
The tide rises, the tide falls, twice a day, every day, as it has for millenia.
And for millenia, horseshoe crabs have ambled up to the edge of the bay in late spring to mate and lay eggs, thousands on our beaches laying millions upon millions upon millions of tiny green eggs.
The youngest are already nine years old, surviving against incredible odd; the eldest have been coming here for 30 years.
Many do not survive the orgy, and a whiff of their stinking carcasses in the afternoon light remind us, should we care to be reminded, of what awaits all of us.
But here, now, the beach seemingly emanating light as the sun settles below the bay’s edge, an early evening high tide coinciding with a rising plump moon, you smell the life churning in the waves as these ancient creatures rise up again, as they have long before the first humans walked along this bay, and likely will long after we have passed on.