Six high tides later, I went back, hoping to find it again. Walked the same yet different beach. Clattered over wet sculpts of hilled and troughed stones. Followed the phrase line where a scrape of sand swayed in rhythm and sloped into the foam.
Found many new things. Fewer star fish, less plastic, more whelk egg cases, so many lost tennis balls. Wreckage of sea drama, like stage props giving clues to a surreal play. But no sign of what I was really looking for.
So, it was good that I had taken a shot of it the other day, after I'd turned over an ordinary looking bit of wood and found something lovely..... Maybe next time, I will do the right thing and bring such things home with me?