I have loved this silly, crumbling wall since I was six. I used to walk past it on my way to and from school. It was like a condominium for snails. Every afternoon on my way home, I would inspect each “condo” until I found a snail. It always brought me absurd joy to see a little snail chillaxin’ in their bachelor pad.
The old wall is still there, but I haven’t seen a snail since I was a child and, yes, I still look.
One of the reasons we moved to Rockford is because I wanted my kids to experience the fascination of spying snails in their natural habitat. Sadly, we’ve only found slugs in our pursuit. I realize slugs are snails without the shells and that they serve a purpose in the life cycle, but OMG* they are so nasty. But snails? Snails are adorable and charming.
I don’t want to say we moved to Rockford solely based on what I perceived to be a robust snail population but our decision boiled down to oddly specific reasons like that. Reasons, like snails, are funny, mysterious and elusive. Strangely, most of my reasons for doing things (grand or small) are honest and well-intentioned but reflect a completely inaccurate assumption. Case in point: snails!
But I will always enjoy searching for snails and reasons. My kids have never seen a snail at “the wall” but have lost count of how many turkeys, bald eagles, hawks, opossums, raccoons and owls they have found in their own backyard. Much like them, I look for one thing and often find something better.
Thank you for reading! -Connie
*Oh My Gastropod.