Wandering through Pinterest I came across this beautiful poem by Bernadette Noll. It really resonated with me while bringing back so many lovely memories of time spent by the ocean with people I love. I liken my sifting through Pinterest to sifting through the sand by the sea. I am always looking for those wonderful little gems to collect and share. Both tasks takes some time and patience. Yet they bring such unexpectedly perfect rewards.
I spent summers at the shore in New Jersey with my family. We would go on wanders in both good weather and bad. It was there that my mom and dad taught us the lesson of unexpected gifts. My parents showed us that by broadening the lens of our focus and having no expectations we could allow anything to come to our attention.
There we would be, the five of us like the little sand pipers up and down the beach, close to the waves and back again, looking for those little treasures. Some days there might not be much to be excited about. It was just nice to enjoy being close to the water. We all loved hearing the waves and smelling the salt air. The day was never a waste. Then there were those other days. They were the days when out of nowhere someone would find that perfect surprise piece of sea glass all polished and worn. The color would be exclaimed over when a rare shade was found. There was no jealousy in someone else’s find. There was just excited exclamations and joy because sea glass was no easy thing to find. Hail to the intrepid and patient adventurer who found that rare gem!
My dad would then get us to thinking about that worn bit of flotsam. What had it been when it was whole? Where had it started? Where in the world had it traveled? Who had touched it at some point? What did its’ color tell us about its’ story? He helped us appreciate why even finding that little piece of sea glass was such a gift. He helped us understand that its’ “life” was an adventure to be treasured. He set our imaginations to wandering and instilled in us a desire to know and understand stories that were not our own.
That is why this beautiful poem spoke to my soul. Our lives are much like sea glass. Where have we been? What have we seen? Who have we known? What has our place in the bigger picture been as we’ve traveled our spiraling, bouncing and wandering paths? We’ve entire adventures to share.
Let us step back and view the panorama of each others’ lives through a broadened lens. Any one of us might be a gift that another didn’t even know they were looking for. It is time we appreciate all that each of our lives have been and where they may yet go. We are like those precious bits of sea glass discovered near the ocean. We become a bit worn, our angles softened by our experiences. Yet we are all still gifts. Let’s find and enjoy the hidden treasure that is each of us.