Day 1 at the beach: In less than half an hour of being out on the shore, I chance to look down and see a sea stone…beautifully rounded and smoothed by sand and water. This sets me on a course to find and collect more sea stones and sea glass thru the week.
Day 2: Bent over for much of the day in search of these jewels in stone and glass, I find nothing.
Day 3: Once again, hunched over in search of the elusive sea glass and stones, only to be empty handed at the end of the day.
Day 4: Having abandoned the search for these items, I see a glint of pale blue glass in the sand on my morning walk. Hmmm…
Day 5: At the start of my morning walk, I zero in on a promising mound of shells thinking surely this will be a place to find a stone or bit of glass… A good while later, I abandon said patch of promise with a “humph” and not five paces away, quite all by itself, the glint of a lovely piece of white sea glass greets me.
Evening of Day 5: Sitting by the ocean, thinking through my ever present search for what I’d like to draw next…I consider another self-portrait of sorts. In drawing “me” drawing on the shore, I find my shadow more compelling than the bits of me I can see… feet, legs, sketchbook, hands.
Day 6: Testing a growing suspicion that I may find what I’m looking for if I don’t look so hard, I set out on my morning walk. Something catches my eye, I bend over to see what it is, and I find it isn’t actually glass, but rather plastic . I see next to it a brown, gray stone. I cast it aside with the thought that it’s just an ordinary rock, but then quickly retrieve said “rock” thinking that it is every bit a sea stone, and why should I not accept and receive the brown and gray ones just like I would the white ones?
All of this searching and finding this week at the ocean has caused me to wonder about life: Do we search and search for what we’re looking for, only to find it when we stop searching? Or does it then find us? Do we have a tendency to search in places that seem right, only to find what we’re looking for in the most ordinary, unusual, and perhaps lonely places? Do we dismiss a gem-in-the-rough just because it doesn’t quite fit our idea of what “it” should be? Do we find that what surrounds us is more compelling than what we are? Do we have the thought that the shadow we cast may be more compelling than the inward search for who we are? What is it exactly that we’re searching for? Beauty? Eternal Truth? Peace? Sea glass? Sea stones? Shells?
And so many more delicious questions to think and muse upon. Other thoughts that float in and out of my mind and heart, like the waves upon the shore:…If you seek me with all your heart you will find Me…A well appeared where Hagar had not seen…His voice was not in the thunder and lightening, but in the still, small, whisper…I am the one you have been looking for…and , I am found.
It’s crazy what the ocean washes up on the shore, isn’t it?