He was only 4 years old and the ocean before him looked as big as the sky. It was his first visit to the seaside and he eyed the water with a mixture of awe and excitement, flinching each time a wave crashed upon the shore–a very loud noise to little ears.
And the shells…oh, they were everywhere! Tiny treasures offered up by the waves and left for him to find upon the wet sand. So many different shapes and colors and sizes. His mother had suggested he collect his favorites, so with plastic beach pail in hand, hey eagerly combed the beach, bending to pick up shell after shell; within minutes, his pail was full.
He ran over to show his mother his haul. She scattered the contents of the pail out onto the sand and began to sort through them with her little boy. She quickly realized, though, that what he had brought her was a pail of broken shells: a scalloped shell missing a chunk from its delicate arch; half of a sand dollar; a sliver of abalone…
She had not given him the proper instructions for shell collecting, so she gently explained that most of the shells he had picked were broken. She told him the ocean is powerful and it will break most of the shells, so he should avoid those and pick, instead, the whole shells.
Her advice left his little face scrunched in confusion.
He looked up at her and then back down at the battered shells in his hands, their gentle swirls and colors glistening in the sun. These were the shells that had drawn his attention; these were the shells that had caught his eye.
“But mama,” he said, “the broken ones are still beautiful.”
We all have pieces broken by the waves of Life. In some, the pieces show clearly; in others, they are hidden. But the cracks and the chips and the holes don’t change who we are or what we are. They simply serve to show we have ridden the waves and emerged triumphantly upon the shore.
“The broken ones are still beautiful.”
spectrum healthcare ©2015