My whole body feels a like the inside of a shellfish. My skin is like an oyster, tender and supple, elastic and thin. My feet are as soft and smooshy as a snail, while my hands are as delicate and smooth as a scallop.
My shell has been pulled off, exposing me to a harsh new world. After being sheltered by walls and roofs for so many years, the buffer of buildings is suddenly gone. I have no office or house to protect me from the elements. My soft shellfish body is laid bare to sun, and uncovered for wind and sand to scour.
Rather than being swallowed whole like an oyster, I will metamorphose. My tender skin is toasting slowly in the desert sun, stretching tighter over my bones and ligaments. My soft feet, abraded daily by sand and stickers, are growing their own impenetrable barrier to protect my roots. My delicate hands are getting stronger, forming calluses that allow me to lift, carry, sift and pull.
This transformation is not a painless process. But the discomfort is a fair price to pay to make my body my new shelter.