We snuck away for a weekend on the coast last month, and as we were walking along the beach, my son asked why I like the beach so much.
I couldn’t put my answer into words. There’s something about sand and waves that always calm my soul. The endlessness of the horizon, the sound of waves coming ashore, and the light breeze coming off the water refresh me and make all seem right with the world.
I spent hours on the beach as a kid and teen, and in my adult days, nothing beats a bit of time in the sand. I can walk a beach for hours, not really searching for anything but just soaking it all in. Of course, I’m a mom, so walking for hours = maybe 15 minutes, and it’s interrupted by a million questions as my beach buddy finds a sliver of a shell, sand dollar, or some other treasure. But time on the beach, even with treasure-hunting buddies, gives me time to think.
Walking along the edge of the water with my son alternately running ahead and lagging behind, I watched the waves flow in and scanned for treasure.
Exploring what the waves leave behind, you rarely see pristine shells. The water is just too rough as the shells get pushed forward and pulled back a million times before they are left on the shore. The calmest days are preceded by the biggest storms,, and the treasure riding the waves is battered and blown to and fro.
Examining the bits and pieces, no two are alike and most aren’t intact. Many shells have a chip or a crack, but they still shine reflectively as the sunlight hits them, grabbing your attention and admiration.
Others are beaten and broken, a mere sliver of their former selves. But even those pieces shine in the sunlight as waves wash over them. Looking at their colors, cracks, and flaws, it’s hard not to wonder where they’ve been and what they’ve seen.
Some get sucked back into the waves to be churned again and again. They may end up on a different part of the beach or buried in the sand to be uncovered by future waves, but they’re there, no matter what.
Others seem to have managed not to yield to the power of the waves, but when you pick them up, you discover that they, too, aren’t perfect: a piece is missing or a chip was covered by sand.
But no matter what, every shell shines. The shells may no longer be perfect, but their imperfections make them unique. The flaws make them interesting. Each imperfection tells a story we wish we knew.
So as the waves of motherhood wash over each of us, know that no matter what, we shine. On the calmest days in the nicest of breezes and on the darkest days filled with storms, we weather the storms and we shine. We may get battered and blown, but we keep at it.
The waves of motherhood may do their best to break us down, leaving us what seems like a little worse for wear, but still we shine. Every imperfection is just a story waiting to be told, and no matter what, we’re all treasured, especially by the little ones who splash in through the waves with us.