Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The nautilus and the sea urchin

Like a heat-seeking missile, I was determined to find a nautilus shell like the one I saw on the postcard in my hotel lobby. It was early morning. I was trying to sneak out the room without waking my husband. But he turned, blinked a few times and asked,"Where are you going?" We were, after all, on vacation, which to his mind meant rest.

"The tide's out," I said. "I have to get on the beach early to find a nautilus shell.

Sport that he is, hubby sighed, rolled out of bed, and donned his sweatshirt and shorts. We joined the other early-morning seekers along the vast stretch of beach famous for its shells. The birds vied for low-tide pickings; the gentle lapping of the retreating water and the misty salt air added the ambiance for a seashell hunt.

I set out briskly, certain I would find the one shell I had in mind. Bob soon lagged behind, stopping every few minutes to examine something which he either discarded or added to his bag. I walked faster, ignoring the piles of shells and shiny objects on the shoreline. Bob stopped, examined, enjoyed. After an hour or so we met up and compared treasures. I had nothing. Bob had a bag full of perfectly formed, shiny, spikey, curly, pearly treasures.

On the way back to the hotel, we stopped at a shell store where I learned my nautilus didn't even live in those waters. They were just props on a postcard.

I had been so focused on the big treasure that I had overlooked all the little beauties along the way.
Today, may I have the eyes to see, the faith to believe, and the heart to be thankful for what I have today.

3 comments:

  1. Beautifully written. Coming from RI, the Ocean State, I love this meditation. There is a Celtic worship song by Eden's Bridge called Stones and Sea and one of the lines is this: "All the time I had wasted seeking stones,
    I had missed the rolling glory of the sea." It's a powerful song for me and this post now sits beside it in my heart.

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  2. Thanks for the reminder and encouragement to find joy in the everyday little things. They can surely turn into treasures sometimes.

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  3. Love this. I am usually the one way out ahead on a mission and missing the "treasures" right in front of me!

    Thanks for sharing. Love to read your writing :)

    Beth

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