Broken Seashells – Love for the past

Broken seashells

Today after my morning meditation I clearly heard: Go to the beach.

And believe it or not, I don’t hear that a lot.

I envisioned a fairly strenuous hike I enjoy, thinking, “Maybe today the Universe really wants me to sweat.” The kids have been homebodies lately, so when I asked if they wanted to go with me I was shocked when I heard: “Yeah.” I actually had to ask again to make sure I wasn’t hearing things.

Well. Hmmm. They don’t like the extreme hike, so I knew my plan wasn’t going to happen. We hopped in the car and I headed west not sure where we would end up. As we got closer, Ella suggested a walk we haven’t done for awhile.

This is a walk on a paved bike path, and although you can get down to the beach, we usually stay on the path. Today, I said, “Let’s go down to the sand.” My kids aren’t big fans of sand in their shoes, so again I was happily surprised when they said, “OK Mom.”

We plopped down on the warm sand and quietly took in the view. I love to hunt rocks and shells, so after awhile, I got up, took off my shoes and wandered down to the rocky shoreline. It’s not often I find shells at this particular beach. Perhaps it was the recent storms, or perhaps I just had my eyes open today, but there we so many beautiful ones nestled in the piles of rocks.

The kids joined me and we spent about an hour dodging the waves and picking out treasures. When we sat on the sand to decide what was going home with us, I realized how drawn I was to the broken shells.

I remember being a kid, and passing up the broken ones, in search of the perfect, whole shell.

The breaks in the shells reveal their geometry, the golden spiral. So amazing. Turning them over in my hand, I was reminded of a conversation I had with a dear friend. She shared a poem by Rumi (although English is her native language, she can listen to his works in the original text and I so appreciate her translation).

The poem was about a reed flute. The flute tells the story of being separated from the reed bed and what that separation felt like. It goes on to tell what the reed had to go through to be able to make the beautiful sounds it can now make. It was a story of the journey to become empty; to be able to play the sounds that are played through you.

I thought about all the ways I have been broken. I reflected on my journey to become empty.

I held those shells in my hand and prayed that beautiful sounds would be played through me.

Today, I feel love for my past. I hope you can find love for yours…and let the music play!

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