One afternoon in Hua Hin, I strolled down Takiab Beach at low tide. All around me, vacationers were enjoying the sunshine. A woman galloped by on horseback, kicking up the pristine white sand. Swimmers splashed playfully in the aquamarine water. Couples relaxed in oceanfront cafes, sipping lattes. I was so focused on the macro world that I nearly tripped over a giant jellyfish that had washed up on the beach. As I reached out tentatively to prod it with my flip-flops I was startled to see the sand move. On closer inspection, I realized the movement was from thousands of tiny ghost crabs that scurried before my feet and ducked into tiny holes in the sand.
These translucent, dun-colored spiders of the beach were nearly invisible as they dashed between the holes of their web. Piles of round, dung-like sand balls fanned out from each crab hole, creating a mosaic pattern across the broad expanse of beach. If I stood perfectly still, the mni-crustaceans poked their bulbous eyes above the sand, testing to make sure the coast was clear. Cautiously, they emerged from their burrows pushing yet another round ball of sand onto the beach as they excavated their dens during low tide.
Hours later, the tide rolled back in, burying the crabs beneath the sand until the next low tide, when the process began anew. Macro and micro, the endless cycle of life goes on.