“Mama! Mama! Wait. This one’s beautiful,” she says to me as we walk along the beach together at sunset, just her and I. “And this one and this one.” She’s said it for almost every single one she’s picked up. Every one of them is beautiful. Every little piece.
They are beautiful because everything about the ocean is beautiful, from the fiercest to the most docile, from the deepest blue to the darkest gray, from trough to trough, and from crest to crest. Every grain of sand, every animal, shell, and plant. There is nothing about the ocean that is not beautiful.
Every piece together makes a beautiful whole. Just like us. Our fragments make up who we are. Some fragments are jagged and holey. Some are smooth. Some are not fragments but whole pieces. And then somehow God collects our pieces and puts them in a jar, ugly and beautiful alike, and the jar is filled. And it is not a jar filled with lots of ugly pieces of seashells, or whole seashells or rocks. It is a jar that is filled with us, who we are, and there is nothing ugly about what God has made.
They are beautiful because she is beauty full. They are beautiful because everything is beauty full to her. And they are beautiful because they are hers. And they are her first ones. I think I will keep them forever and ever.