Navarre Beach, Sand Dollars, Sea Shells

More Lessons from the Beach

In Monday’s post on Arkansas Women Bloggers, I told you how my carelessness crushed a perfect little sand dollar and about the lessons I learned from its loss. I promised to share a few more insights today.

If the sand dollar is a metaphor for meaningful experiences, I’m sure there are more special moments in our weeks than there are sand biscuits on the shore. The problem comes when we get so busy with other seemingly important things that we miss them.

 Here are just a few everyday moments for you to consider.

  •  A father adjusts his pace to his son’s wobbling progress after removing training wheels from his bike. He could have gotten in a good run, but instead he was there for the victorious ride down the sidewalk.
  • A harried mother stops to really listen to her child’s discovery or to answer her preteen’s question even though she has lessons to plan. She knows what her child is thinking.
  • A woman says yes to lunch with a friend who’s adjusting to living alone for the first time in her life. She could have lazed around and finished that book. Instead she’s rewarded with a new depth in their relationship.

One perk of retirement is the luxury of more time to take note of the beauty around us. My friend Debbie Hoofman stops on country roads to snap pictures of wildflowers and shares them on Facebook. She could rush by on a mission to finish her errands or not bother to post the pictures, but because she does, everyone’s blood pressure probably drops a few points.

In March we met the couple who rents the condo next door for a couple of months each winter. When they invited us in to visit, I noticed a pile of tiny white sand dollars lying on her kitchen counter. I asked if she had found them on the beach. She told me she had, adding that lots were washing in with the tide, but you had to go out early to find them.

Was I envious? You bet! But only for a moment, because by that time, I understood that if she had given me one or a dozen, they would still have been hers, not mine. I had already made up my mind to be content with the memory of the day I found that one perfect sand dollar and to remember the lessons I had learned.

 Last week, just two days after I posted The Elusive Sand Dollar, I found a partial coin that was no larger than the end of my thumb. This time, I was careful as I retrieved it and placed it in a larger shell. However, later when I tried to move it to another spot, it broke into three pieces. That little sand biscuit was so fragile it couldn’t stand up to being held.

That reality check led me to consider that perhaps some of God’s blessings are simply meant to be enjoyed in the moment. When we try to grasp them, we cause more harm than good.

Isn’t that the case with our children? We can savor the firsts in their lives, but we would never expect  them to remain there. Instead we hide those memories in our hearts to be recalled whenever we like. That’s how I view my sand dollar finds now. The experience of coming upon them is a blessing.

Sacred moments steal upon us, but it is always our choice whether we stop and truly enjoy them. My prayer is that you and I will always choose to stop, my friend. 

 …“you are anxious and troubled about many things, 
but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, 
which will not be taken away from her.”  
Luke 10:41-42

Copyright © Reflections from Dorothy’s Ridge 2014. All rights reserved

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