Posted by: dharmabeachbum | May 31, 2013

Thoreau, the beauty of fossil hunting, and wishing a promising young couple the best

Temps rose near 80 and the sun shone brightly as two fellow beachcombers crossed paths. The stranger uttered something to me that I’ve heard 1,000 times.

“I wish I could find just one shark’s tooth,” he said, while pacing through a massive bed as the ebbing surf shifted shell shards. “Just one tooth. That’s all I’m asking.”

I had a couple of teeth in my pocket at the time, but I understood his frustration all too well. There are times, even under the most perfect of conditions, that sharks’ teeth are very hard to find. Otherwise, my favorite hobby would be called finding sharks’ teeth, not hunting them.

I didn’t get a chance to speak with the stranger later, but I hope a little dharma beach bumism rubbed off on him and he was able to find a tooth as the tide continued to drop.

Dharma Beach Bumism is a mixture of many things. The main ingredient is nature and a spirituality involving the sun, the ocean, the moon and all living creatures with whom we share the seashore. Toss in a little zen and the belief that good vibes we send out come back to us in the karmic sense, i.e., positive things are more likely to happen to us.

A young, engaged couple, Astin and Jason, were blessed with a little dharma not long after starting to follow my blog — proof that Dharma Beach Bumites benefit via fate as would a spider pouncing from the center of the foggy web of destiny. Well, okay, that might be a stretch.

Astin found her first shark’s tooth recently just as Jason, her soul mate of nearly two years, was walking to the beach to meet her. She made the discovery south of Wither’s Swash. It was great to see how excited she was. The good news: once you find one tooth, the rest get easier to spot.

So, what does it really mean to find a shark’s tooth?

Some cultures in the South Pacific consider the finding or the wearing of a shark’s tooth to be good luck. Others around the world feel sharks teeth are a sign of power against the perceived evils of the sea. Warriors even used them as the cutting edge of weaponry.

In regard to my friends, Jason and Astin, this is all good news. May you be lucky if you need it. By finding a shark’s tooth, you have been granted bravery against the powers-that-be in the universe. Just remember to fight the good fight. Stand tall and use your warrior skills when others threaten the unity you now share.

As Henry David Thoreau thought while smoking some vine near Walden’s Pond, “Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.”

That’s one of the beautiful things about being a Dharma Beach Bumite. Its philosophy can readily be personalized by adding pinches of one’s tastes.

My brand of Dharma Beach Bumism, for example, includes a little of Thoreau’s philosophy. As individuals, we shouldn’t permit government to overrule or atrophy our consciences. We have a duty to avoid through acquiescence the enabling of government to become agents of injustice. The pen is mightier than the sword and I’ll use my pen from time-to-time to brandish some civil disobedience. My ink won’t shrink or disappear.

But that’s just me. I’m heading to the big pond now. Whether I’m lucky or not, I’ll find myself a fossil.


(Bum’s rap: Thoreau was a noted teetotaler. Without knowing for sure, I’d surmise that he didn’t partake in “smoking some vine.” That was just my way of acknowledging his tendency for deep thought. Not that smoking and deep thought necessarily go hand-in-hand. Sometimes it does. Sometimes it doesn’t. Pot’s illegal so I wouldn’t, uh, necessarily know.)



  1. I absolutely adore this blog. You truly couldn’t have written this any better! šŸ™‚
    Maybe one day soon you, “jason”, and i could possibly take a stroll down the beach and hunt for sharks teeth together.

    • Anytime, Astin. I’d love to go to the beach with y’all. Hang out. Finding teeth would be cool, too. I’m so glad you liked it. I get more nervous than a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs when I write about friends like y’all. It’s people like you and “Jason” and Mike that make this all worthwhile. Peace, out.

      • We would actually love to go to the beach and hunt with you!

  2. thanks Rob… I love it

    • No, Je, I mean Jason. Thank you. I’m so glad y’all like it. Believe it or not — after many years of being a journalist — I get most nervous when I write about people I know and care about. I worry that I don’t get things straight. I could give a crap what the politicians and gov’ment mules think about what I write. I enjoy pissing them off. But with y’all it’s different. Thanks.

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