That’s my daughter hunting for sea shells while on vacation in South Carolina recently. Her pail must have weighed 8 pounds and I wondered why it was so heavy.
She had collected all kinds of crazy, big broken pieces of shells. I knew there was no way we would be able to get all of it back home to California. As we hunted for shells together, she would pick one out and show it to me. I tried to edit her as we went along, to try and lighten the load.
She would show me a shell and I would point out that it was broken and with so many to choose from, we should just get the ones that were perfect.
And maybe that was my mistake.
“But mom, it’s still beautiful, right?” she asked me.
There went my heart. It was a reminder of how jaded we become with age and how we “learn” what society consider beautiful. She found the beauty in every single shell she picked up… whether it was chipped, discolored or broken.
It was a simple moment… one I wanted to savor. Sometimes looking at life through the eyes of a 5-year-old teaches us the most profound lessons.
-- Ryan Patterson