What I Learned from Carlton the Crab

Abby Arthur, Photography Editor

Senior Pilgrimage. A retreat full of bonding, strolling through Kent, and making friendship bracelets. When people hear ‘senior pilgrimage’, the first thought that comes to their head is not often: ‘new pet’. However, this year’s retreat was a special exception.
It all began during free time. I went to go exploring through the outskirts of the Camp Seymour property borders, but little did I know, my life would be forever changed. I found myself walking along the shore line with my head down attempting to find cool rocks or sea glass I could take home to commemorate the event and add to my collection. And then, there it was: a shell. Nothing too fancy, just one of the cool swirly ones. With my feeling of pride from my extraordinary find, I ran to my friends to show them my super neat ‘empty’ shell. They were not as impressed with it as I was however, but this did not bother me because I knew they were just jealous that they didn’t discover something as magnificent as I had.
After placing the shell in my pocket, we kept exploring and slowly made our way back to camp. With the shells still in my pocket, soon it was time to go back to Seattle. When I returned home, I decided to take a shower, so I took the shell and rocks out of my pocket and set them on my desk. What I saw when I came back from the shower was truly frightening.
I sat on a bench in my room and I glanced down and found myself startled and jumped as I looked at my carpet and thought to myself, “Wow that is the biggest spider I have ever seen, I’m terrified.”
But then, I came to my senses after being so startled and I realize: there is a living, breathing crab walking across my carpet.
In a panic, I run to my parents and they are unamused and tell me to flush him. They should have known better not to tell me this because I would never do such a thing to a little baby crab the size of a dime. Next thing I know, I am in my kitchen running in and out of the house attempting to construct a habitat for my crab, whom I have now named Carlton.
In a Tupperware, I made my own salt water and put in his shell that he came from, little pebbles from my front yard, and the other rocks I had found from Seymour. As I am building Carlton’s new home, it strikes me that I had a living crab in my pocket for over six hours. Considering that I am afraid of crabs, I find this pretty remarkable and realized I had conquered a fear of mine and was proud of my growth.
Unfortunately, Carlton is currently missing. We had a fantastic, unforgettable two days together, but he is currently either playing hide and seek in one of his shells, or (the more terrifying thought) has escaped and is now crawling around my room.
You really don’t recognize what you have until it’s gone. A classic quote but one I found that was very true and authentic for me as I felt a tear run down my check when I realized Carl had been playing hide and seek with me for a little too long.
Basically, this is what I took away from Senior Pilgrimage: sometimes we take those we love for granted. Whether that’s friends, family, or anyone else holding importance in our lives, we assume they will always be there and don’t necessarily appreciate them as we should. So, seniors, this is my wish for us: live in the present and take time to appreciate everyone in your lives, because next year at this time, we will all be on our own paths towards our future. Have fun and cherish all the ‘lasts’ we will experience in high school this year. For everyone out there; whoever your Carlton is, go let them know you care and are thankful to have them in your life.