I find absolute calm when I step on the beach and walk to the water’s edge. I did just that late yesterday afternoon and marveled at nature’s transformation. No longer were the waves filled with laughing children, boogie boards or beach towels colorfully scattered on the sand. The air was crisp, the marine drape masked the sun and a few random folks were enjoying an autumn stroll.
I gingerly picked up this pristine shell, no holes or wrinkles, smooth and unbroken. Laying right next to it, I scooped up this fossil like rock, textured and weathered. I carried one in each hand and pondered what story each could share? What had each experienced during their seasons at sea?
With its eroded tunnels and sea life imprints, the rock gave me pause for imagining all sorts of grand tales. Was it a fragment from a dwelling in the lost city of Atlantis? Or perhaps had spent thousands of years sharing salty terrain with a family of sea turtles off the North Shore of Oahu?
The shell seemed to not have been penetrated by time, risky geography or nautical battlefields. Bits had not been severed and its simple beauty reminded me of a charmed, maybe even protected life.
Aren’t we much like these treasures from the sea? So often we put the effort into the appearance of the shell; perfect, in tact, unaffected by the rough seas of our lives. When in fact, we are the rock. We have holes in our hearts, we have imprints on our souls. Yet, what if beauty was measured in the intricacy and strength of the rock? What if self worth, your value, came from not perfecting your shell but instead, treasuring your true self, your story with all of its erosions and blemishes?