How to be a Periwinkle

Photo by Katarina Hrazdina

Perhaps some days you feel slow and sluggish. Maybe sometimes, it’s as though you are pushing so hard but barely move at all, and that’s okay. You might be having a periwinkle day. 

There are a few things to like about periwinkles. They’re cute, for one. They make little tracks in the sand as they go, turning tide pools into tapestries. They’re varied, all different sizes and colors, and sometimes they even stack on top of each other like a giant game of snail-jenga you can try to pick apart. But perhaps best of all, periwinkles are resilient. If you go to the ocean at low tide you cannot walk without stepping on them. You need to wear shoes to not cut your feet. Despite having the entire weight of a creature (you) many hundreds of times its size on its shell, the periwinkle persists. It multiplies. It covers every rock and crevice and pool it can find, and it lives. Be like the periwinkle.

Periwinkling, as I like to term it, is existing when the world around you is tough. You’ve got to sit on your little rock in the currents, waiting out all the storms and seagulls and strange children that pick you up and try to get you out of your shell. It’s tiring, for sure, which is why it’s okay to be slow and sluggish and non-moving like a periwinkle. 

But every now and then, someone comes along and picks you up and doesn’t yell at you to come out of your shell. They cradle you in their hands and lean over you and watch, excitedly, hoping to see even a glimpse of your little snail eye-stalks peering back at them. If you’re lucky, they might even hum.

These sorts of people are periwinklers. They are skilled in the handling of snails and people, knowing when and how to coax someone out at their own pace. A periwinkler will wait patiently for you to show yourself as you please, and they will not get mad if you take your time. They can be hard to find, but try to recognize them when you meet them. They’re special people.

Maybe you want to be a periwinkler, maybe you are a periwinkle, or maybe you simply really like the little buggers. Maybe you want to pick up a winkle and hold it and see the magic moment when it hesitantly emerges, forging a small, special bond of trust between you and this tiny symbol of perseverance. Maybe you want to plop yourself down in a two inch puddle of water and just vibe. Maybe you want the thrill of hiding from a flock of hungry seagulls (which is not for the faint of heart). Whatever you want, know what you feel is okay.

It’s okay to be slow sometimes. It’s okay to simply exist. It’s okay to be a periwinkle. 

About Katarina Hrazdina 430 Articles

Katarina Hrazdina is a senior at Clayton A.Bouton High School and serves as the Assistant Editor and Art Director of the Blackbird Review.