This morning I sat down to sort a handful of shells from a lovely day on Littor Strand in preparation for saying goodbye. I love sorting shells. I loathe saying goodbye — but that’s another tale altogether.
As I tapped the array of baby mussel, whelk, pyramid and snail shells against the table to empty them of sand and salt and past lives, I was taken aback by the amount they hoarded in their tiny interiors. Tap, tap, tap, spill. Tap, tap, tap, spill. There’s a metaphor here, and of course the metaphor girl can’t let it go.
First off, we carry around a lot of crap. Maybe it’s just me, but the mental wrestlings of my mind are a drag, weighing me down, making my YESes too slow and my let-me-think-about-thats a quick ticket to life passing me right on by. Shake me baby — it’s time to be a new girl with the hours and hunger to see, see, see, to feel, to know, to lap it all up and then spread it around like wildflowers dancing madly in sun or shower or snow, but dancing, always.
And then there’s this. I plucked these babies from the shoreline and held each in my palm, glistening, dewey, and vibrantly individual. The mussels were an iridescent cobalt; the snails alive with a touch of green algae in tow. I can fake the look with a dab of shellac, but they will never be the same in my pocket as they were in their element.
How often am I in my element?
And so my takeaway from this sunshiney morning of sorting and tapping and emptying and knowing is this: there is much that is fabulous in life. I still want to see it all, do it all, grab it all … but in the end, I need to hold on a whole lot tighter to my element — to be sure I drag the me-ness of me along for the ride. And so do you. Never let go.