Very recently, I had a pointed talk with my sweet man. He started a business a few years ago, and the weight of that on his shoulders has been monumental. And he works so very hard and is so beyond-words-amazing. The trick is helping him see outside of it sometimes. So I very carefully (fully believing I was speaking not from my own thoughts alone), reminded him that life is not all about the next deal (as he loves to say). He has had an extremely hard time taking time off thus far and it seems that being your own boss means you hold yourself to a standard not even measurable on the scale of high and low. He listened to me on a Tuesday night. We then left suddenly for a 1,200 mile drive on that Saturday and plopped ourselves on one of our favorite white and sandy beach spots where we used to be baby snowbirds when our kids were much younger. And he smiled and laughed a lot and remembered that it’s a thing. And we looked for shells and took beach walks and tried to process temperatures not requiring layers and thermals and zipped-up-tight.
We all found ourselves shell-searching (back home on the beach it’s stones we seek) and once in a while we’d find a good one. This usually meant we had found a huge shell that was still recognizable after having been flung and smashed wildly by the waves. The treasures that were sought were the big and beautiful shell no other beachcomber found — a gift from the ocean.
On my last oceanside walk of the trip, I — in my sundress and bare feet open to the most possible sunshine with which to drench my skin as I walked with my bare little piggies in the water for my several mile walk while every single passerby had hats, glasses, coats, pants, socks, and shoes — took a seat in the sand to scout for treasures and say goodbye to the warmth and water. As I slowed myself and breathed and soaked in the sun and sights and felt the warm, soft, white sand, I found treasures so tiny, so minuscule even, that I have strong doubts even one other beachcomber picked one up. Tiny little miraculously-formed shells — each sculpted and washed by water and sand and the hand of Someone. They look just like the big shells but it seems these are the undesired ones. On a shelf or in a shell jar, they would never be seen. Always overlooked.
These itty bitty shells spoke to me in a HUGE way! They are like little secret miracles, waiting to be appreciated. Just like little moments in life. We call them stolen moments in our family. When you find yourself even unexpectedly with just one person you love and choose to enjoy the moment carved in time — whether it’s running errands or running to the beach — it’s a stolen moment. It’s grabbed from the jaws of time and put into a treasure box to take out for the rest of time and observe in your heart and mind’s eye. Those are the ones that matter in this life. They are the ones that you recall in the somedays that will have become the remember whens.
They may seem minuscule in the grand scheme and all, but find them. Make them. Tell jokes in a car wash. Go out for breakfast with one of your kids. Hold the hand of someone you love while you walk. Send a card. Look directly in someone’s eyes and tell them they have mattered in your life.
Or my personal favorite, spontaneously drive to the beach in February. :o)
What has been a favorite stolen moment in your life? Are you inspired, like I am, to create these with your loved ones? Tell me all about it!