Metaphors for Living

A Walk on the Beach

By: Pam Dearth, Guest Contributor

As I walk on the beach, I am often drawn to pick up shells that are interesting to me. Not the shells that most people choose, not the “perfect shells.” Many of these shells are broken, some have sharp edges and other times the broken edges have been worn smooth by the effect of the water through the ages. Sometimes they appear to have crevices or holes in them, interesting little areas too hidden to see into. Sometimes these shells have signs of other sea life growing in and on them, they themselves providing a home or shelter to another. Some shells have a drab, plain look but when I turn them over the colors are surprising and delightful to my eyes.

When I am in the spirit of gathering these interesting shells, I think about characteristics of each of them as I pick them up and look intently at them. I can relate what I am seeing in these shells to our “humanness.” Here they are, in all of their glory, perfectly imperfect! Some are worn with wisdom of the ages, some are sharp and pointed, some are mysteriously full of nooks and crevices, others are beautiful when you turn them to the other side, others are a shelter and refuge, some appear small and insignificant, many are shiny and bright, and some show the signs of a life that is full of difficulty and obstacles… They are just like me. Just like us.

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