Monday, September 5, 2016

Treasures from the Sea

I love to walk on the beach and look at what the ocean has scattered on the sand. 

Sand dollars and wave patterns show us their rhythmic beauty. I see many fragments and pieces, but it takes a long time to find one that is perfect.  So graceful and symmetrical.

 A little research tells me that sand dollars are the shells of flattened, burrowing sea urchins. It also tells me that sand dollars that are dark in color and have hair-like cilia on their surface may still be alive and should be left in place. 

I collected a couple of shells that were perfect and whole, but clearly not alive; then I saw another shell that was broken. 

I could see the internal structure that gives the shell its strength to withstand all the battering of the waves and tides. 

There is another kind of beauty in this brokenness, the lacy delicacy of ribs and space.   

As Leonard Cohen said, 

“There is a crack in everything. That's how the light gets in.” 

 I've heard that a broken bone that has healed is stronger at that spot than before.  I wonder if that is true for our hearts and souls? It's like the difference between new wood and weathered pine -- both are beautiful in their own way.