Sand dollars. Whole. Broken. Covered with bugs and barnacles. Green hats of seaweed finery. Perfect on the outside. What is on the inside? Decorated. Plain. Upside down. Right side up. Holes all the way through. Broken in half. Waiting to be taken back to sea or taken home by a passerby.
Last week I walked the beach at Soltura for one last bit of leisurely solitude before the new workshop participants arrived. Little did I know that the words above (penned during those moments) would become the metaphor my mind returned to when asked to share my recent experience.
Words seem so inadequate & insufficient. Even powerful words like glorious, magical, terrifying, magnificent, pure & true. Learning. Growing. Changing. The Light. The words are everywhere if only we open our eyes to look and to see the miracles before us.
"Whole" with finery and beauty keeping others at bay. Broken wide open yet still hidden behind tears and confusion (bugs and barnacles). Boldness that says, ‘Get away!’ The caretaker, the mother, the protector—looking out for others while slowly letting their “control” cover them over like tiny bugs invading the shells. Holes in the middle. Others broken in two. Torn between two sides with a gaping space filled with nothing. The nearly invisible one—buried deep in the sand on the edge slightly away from the others. Will you notice that one?
We see each other in each other. Together we gently pick up the shells. They cannot return to their original form. They will never be the same and yet they will be whole. The beauty is that we get to re-define what wholeness looks like. Maybe it looks like glorious, magical, flawed & broken, pure & true sand dollars on the beach.
Sand dollars and people—are they really so different?