chapter  9
20 Pages

The spirit of the Edge: Rachel Carson and numinous experience between land and sea

BySusan Power Bratton

As the breakers pull seawards and regain their crests, tiny vortices in the thinning water betray small holes in the packed sand, where mollusc and worm burrows tap the life-giving ood. Unseen microscopic cells are swirling around my ankles, providing sustenance for the reclusive excavators residing under my ephemeral footprints. e scattered evidence for a matrix of living protoplasm buried in the sediment reminds me of Rachel Carson’s admiring narrative about the humble lugworms, occupying these very Georgia shallows. Not the rst species on the eco-tourist’s ‘must see’ list, the lugworm is an ecosystem engineer that, in processing detritus and levelling the mud ats, helped to construct this entrancing contemplative space.