I have a confession. I’m obsessed with sea glass. I can’t get enough of it. I can’t stop looking for it. So many times I’ve tried to simply take a stroll along the beach and not spend my time staring down at the sand. Yet over and over I find myself drawn to the efforts of finding sea glass. It brings me such joy to find it hidden among the empty crab shells and seashells littered among the beach. I just can’t help myself. So I spend my time half bent at the waist scanning the sand a few feet in front of my toes for the allusive treasure.
I don’t feel guilty for picking up sea glass and taking it home. It isn’t meant to be there on the beach (with the exclusion of an occasional lightening strike.) The pieces we find were not part of the original particles nature intended. But oh, how nature incorporates it, swallows it up and spits it out as a metaphor for our lives.
I can’t help but think about the journey of sea glass. From one shore to another from one complete vessel transformed into a multitude of shards. Churned and spun in the waves and moved along with the wind. Not knowing where it is going or where it will end up. The uncertainty of being where it once started out and forced to move forward in a new direction. How the ocean churns its strong waves and takes something so harsh and hardened and wears it down into something so smooth and of utter beauty that it draws you in.
Isn’t that life too? A symbol of how we are transformed by our hardships. How we are no longer the person we started out to be due to the experiences we’ve endured. How we’ve been changed and molded into something new from the chaos we’ve endured. Transformed into someone who is softer and gentler. Spun into someone more compassionate and with a higher threshold of empathy. The sharp contrast of how self absorbed we use to be to a new person willing to open oneself up to another to comfort them as they wished they had once been comforted. How easily we use to jump to conclusions yet now hesitate and listen for the full story with a sympathetic ear for those we care about. We’ve been through the strong winds and storms and came out of them different. A little softer. With a more translucent vision of what others are going through too.
There among the strong waves and wind is a honing tool to transform the harshness inside us into compassion for those around us. Maybe our struggles are intended to bring about the beauty found in the depth of our experiences.