A Shell is not a Shell at All

By Donna Glanzman

Today, as I walked on the beach, I had no intention of looking for shells. I was just strolling for no particular reason. Then, a small shell caught my eye.

I don’t know was glistening in the sun amidst millions of others, but it looked just like what I wanted. So, I bent down and picked it up. As I walked on, I saw other shells that seemed interesting to me, so I picked them up, too. In all, I returned home with at least thirty unique new pieces to my life.

Why were these particular shells the ones I wanted? I still didn’t know. Maybe it was their color or texture or their shapes. Something about them made me want to get to know them better.

Oh, there were others that I saw. Some I walked right by and never gave a second thought. Some caused me to pause and maybe even bend down to see them more closely, but then, I would move on. I picked up some shells, but saw they were flawed with cracks, or they had “stuff” in them that I didn’t want to have to deal with. So, I threw them back to the sea.

As I looked at the shells in my hand, I realized none were exactly alike. I had chosen them without forethought or analysis. I just liked them and knew they would brighten my life.

Isn’t that what life is like? We see people. People see us. We choose people, and we don’t know why. People choose us, and they aren’t sure why. Do our first impressions rob us of new experiences?

We accept, and we reject. We are accepted, and we are rejected. Why?

We are each unique, and, if we are truly blessed, we are found to be unique by those who see us or touch our lives.

Some people we take home; some we only look at and move on.

Some will take us into their lives; some will pick us up, and then throw us back to the world.

Some will just love us for what we are and then, they will take us home.

Some we will love and bring into our hearts.

Will we find they were not what we had at first thought they were?

Are they filled with “goop” we can’t handle? Do they bear scars we can’t explain and didn’t initially see?

When we find just the right “shells” for us, what do we do with them? Do we take them home and clean them up? Do we put them in a precious spot in our lives? Or, do we admire them for a while, then put them in a box or a drawer only to be brought out on a whim?

And, how are we treated when chosen from the beach and taken home?

Do people jump to conclusions about our worth or our ability to satisfy?

Do those who choose us want to accept us as we are or do they want to change us?

Are we pampered and cared for and put in a special place to be seen daily? Or, are we broken and cracked from years of carelessness or being shoved in a back room?

Are we ignored because it takes too much time and effort to see us for who we really are and not what people expected us to be?

No matter what the answers, we are all special!

Those we picked so carefully off of life’s beach were chosen and brought a long way from the crashing waves into the safety of our lives.

We chose them for a reason, and they chose us. We must never forget. We must never lose them for they were the ones we picked and, we were the ones they picked!