I love the beach, especially the sun, the water, the sand and the birds. When I go to the beach, I live for these things. I love to go to bird sanctuaries, especially those near the beach.
My friend enjoys watching birds too, but she explained to me that she is an avid shell collector and this is her passion.
I have considered the beauty of shells but frankly they are more of a nuisance than a pleasure. At the beach, I try to avoid stepping on them as much as possible. And many are broken anyway, so I wonder why I should bother with shells. They have sand on them and they stink if dead things are left inside.
When my friend put all of her shells out to dry, I took a second look and I saw the beauty. I realized that while I see beauty in birds because they are alive, my friend sees beauty in what remains from a living thing. Though it no longer has life, it represents the remnants of life and it is more beautiful than the creature which it protected.
And then I met a stranger at the bird sanctuary who took a picture of a feather floating in the water...and he said "there is beauty in everything...if you look carefully you will find it..."
Maybe the next time I avoid stepping on a shell, I'll pick it up and take it home...just as a keepsake to remember that "life is beautiful and even in death, that beauty can be celebrated."
Sanibel Island, FL 11'