We spent four days at the beach last week. It’s a rocky beach with gentle waves and ice cold water. The weather was spectacular. We saw seals in the water, bald eagles in the air, and deer in the forest. I walked the shore happily looking for shells and rocks. I found many.
What I also found was sea glass. Glass that used to be a bottle or jar or vase or some other sort of glass vessel. Brown, clear, golden, blue, aqua, purple, yellow, green, all glinting in the sun, scattered amongst the rocks, shells, sand, and seaweed.
The pieces were small and weathered. Broken and worn down by waves and rocks and sand and other things that battered and bashed the glass on it’s way to this shoreline. Each piece was unique. By the end of the four days I had collected quite a pile of beloved sea glass pieces.
While I loved each piece and hunted for it each day, I also thought about what that sea glass was. It was trash. It was something discarded by someone else. And with time and waves and forces that broke it apart and wore it down it became something else. Something I considered strangely beautiful. Not trash, but a treasure.
If I were my own best friend I would remind myself to think more about the message of that sea glass, to me. I may be broken down and battered in places. I may be worn and weathered. I may be discarded by someone else who does not appreciate my individual beauty. They see something that is not worth their time.
But perhaps the sum of those processes is what makes me uniquely suited to be where I am today. Perhaps, like the sea glass, I had to go through these processes of being broken and changed to be who I am today. I am reminded to be grateful for the journey I am on now, the hardships I have faced in the past and am enduring currently.
And that is why I have little bowls of sea glass sitting around my house. They remind me that being broken and weathered may be exactly what I needed, to be who I am growing into today.