Friday, July 30, 2010

She Soaks Sea Shells From the Sea Shore

Last week I returned from a vacation in Washington State. One day during the trip, my daughter and I picked up sea shells from a beach off of the Puget Sound called Horsehead Bay. We gathered quite a few, the ones still intact and with minimal damage to them. I've had the sea stowage in my garage airing out for the last week. Today I decided to bring them in and wash them.
I began by dropping each one in hot soapy water. Then with a scrubbing sponge, I scrubbed them inside and out. At first, I only noted the swift removal of their grit. As I turned one over to clean the outside of it, I noticed the more I scrubbed the more it faded. I placed it in the side sink and did the same to the next one, wanting to prove my theory. It was one of the bigger ones we had found. It reminded me of a human hand. Its more prominent curves resembled the bones that lead out to webbed finger tips. On the other more the rounded side formed its wrist. Starting horizontally, grooves ran in subtle waves cutting across it ending on the other side. Each wave encapsulated colors ranging from dirty coral tones, to muted browns, and almost muddy purple hues. As I scrubbed it, the browns faded. I continued rubbing until its knuckles were completely white. I looked at it. It was no longer a vibrant beautiful thing, it was a lifeless bleached corpse. Its uniqueness had been scrubbed away. I was careful with how I cleaned the rest, using the sponge side on the outside and the scrubber side to remove the sand. As I began rinsing off the clean pile, I noticed the hotter the water, the more the colors faded. I wondered if it had to do with steam or if once they dried out a bit, the color would return. Of the ones bathed in hot water, their colors didn't restore. So, I changed tactics. I rinsed the rest off in cold water. I noticed another pattern of color change; if the water was too cold, they lost their brilliancy, however, if the water was merely cool, they retained their original hue. I was perplexed by this phenomenon, and as I always do, I applied its effects to my life.
The more experience I have, the more scars I have. The more I try to stay on the path I'm suppose to stay on, the more intact I stay. And perhaps the more rips and tears I endure from these experiences on this path, the more brilliant I am and the more beautiful my life becomes.

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