Worthless Pieces of Broken Glass

Tuesday, we took a trip to a nearby island. As the hubby scoured the beach sand for sea glass, he noticed a couple guys nearby wielding metal detectors. He laughed, asking, “What does it say about me that I don’t bring a metal detector to the beach? Instead, I spend the day looking for worthless pieces of glass.”

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How often do we live a metal detector way of life? We look for the big adventures and forget about the little not-so-insignificant moments. We’re so focused on hunting treasure that we don’t notice the view of the harbor as we come into shore, the seaweed on the rocks, clouds over the bay, a rope covered ledge, the pile of deserted lobster traps, or the hollow through the trees.

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Even if we do noticed the significant nothings, in our visual-centric age, we often become so focused on seeing them through our camera lens, that we forget to step out and truly see.

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I obviously have nothing against taking pictures (this post is full of them), but I wonder how often we see those pictures as the memories themselves and forget the moments they were taken in. Do we remember the breeze as we came into shore? The feel of seaweed underfoot? Do we remember how we felt or what we thought? Do we use photos as an aid for remembering or as a replacement?

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Sometimes I think we would be less focused on searching high and wide for adventures and more content with the beauty surrounding us if we learned to treat those memories like sea glass. Carefully collected and displayed in a glass jar. Little, worthless pieces of broken glass able to brighten even the drabbest day.

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