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.


  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.

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

  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 :)



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