Being a desert rat, I find there are times I crave the coast: the green undulating landscape, the rhythm of the waves, the aroma of sea salt wafting through the air.
During our last visit to the northern California coast, Ken and I strolled along the beach in the late afternoon. When I spied a fragment of sand dollar, I told Ken about how the janitor at work broke the sand dollar I had on my desk (one of only two that I’ve found whole over my entire life) and how he tried to conceal its damage by pushing the pieces back together.
I wasn’t angry. I was disappointed in him for not being honest about it. After all, I understand the fragility of these discs.
As I mentioned how I wished he would’ve felt comfortable talking to me about it, I looked at my feet. There it lay: a perfect sand dollar.
Ah, the Universe is an amazing place. It’s replacing my broken one with a new one!
I gave silent thanks for this gift as I picked up the beautifully complete creation.
I then realized my disappointment toward the janitor was unfair. I didn’t know this man as he arrived at work after I left for the day, so he didn’t know me. And fear of a negative reaction to his mistake could’ve led him to hide the infraction and avoid an angry response. So I forgave him for not fessing up.
Ken and I continued our walk. Not two minutes later, I found another perfectly preserved sand dollar. Then another. Over 90-minutes, I collected nine!
In my years of beach combing, I’d never experienced anything like that.
We all make errors in judgment and we never know what truly is transpiring in someone’s life. It can be easy to jump to anger or disappointment when it’s best to give others some slack.
At a glance, each sand dollar looks the same. But when you inspect them, you see slight differences in hues and background patterns. Just like these former sea creature homes, on the surface we appear similar, yet we are marvelous unique variations. Let’s see the divine in each other. Let’s celebrate our imperfections—those which make us human.