Lessons Learned While Searching for Seashells 

Sandra warned the kids yesterday on my 50th birthday. 

We were all packed in the car headed down to the beach when I started rattling on about something. “Dad is probably going to be pretty philosophical over the next couple of days.” She was right. 

This morning Will and I drove down to Fort Fisher to look for seashells. We found a few and then a lady approached us and said, “You gotta get here early to beat the old ladies. They just left with a bag full.”

Thanks for the advice. Then I found one and handed it to Will. He said, “I don’t want that one. There’s nothing special about it.”

“Yeah there is. It’s intact. It survived intact.”

Waxing philosophical I look back on my 50 years and realize that it’s hard to reach this point whole. The storms of life are rough. People break, marriages fall apart, friendships fail. I’ve either witnessed or personally experienced all of these things. We all have at 50. 

So for a shell to have washed up to shore whole, having survived the storms and choppy waters is special. But also if you made it to the shore beat up and broken, you’re still valuable. Many of the most beautiful shells we kept were the broken ones. 

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