Seashells, Life Choices, and How I Am Finding Peace

My family and I visited the beach together over the weekend, and it was lovely. It wasn’t what I had planned initially, more rain and lower temperatures, but we were able to have one good afternoon at the sea. While the boys played in the sand, I scoured the shore for a shell. I wanted just one shell and size didn’t matter. But all I could find were fragments of shells already battered and broken by the roaring tide.

Initially, I tossed these fragments aside, as I continued my quest for an intact shell. I began to be discouraged that I kept finding small slivers of shells, until I stumbled across a brightly colored piece. Thus far, all the shell remnants I found were white, but this was a lovely terra cotta. I held on to it, and then found another, this time white with terra cotta stripes. I was so happy with my shell fragments that I stopped searching for a whole shell. I just found a collection of stones, sea glass, and shell pieces that I liked. I brought my treasures back up to the spot on the sand where my husband was napping. I was so proud of the little bits of the beach I was taking home with me. As we prepared to leave the shore and head back to the house, Z found a large whole shell in the sand, and he wasn’t even looking for it! His shell was big enough to hold all of my treasures inside,

I realized that my life was very much like my shell search. I initially had these great plans to find a complete life, but all I found at first were little pieces of a life which I rejected, b/c they didn’t fit my plan. It wasn’t until I started finding people and things in my life that made me happy, or made me grow, that I came to appreciate their value, and kept them with me. I have built a life from these bits and pieces, and it’s completely unlike the original shell I had in mind. But I am so proud of it, and I think far happier than I would have been if I had gotten the shell in the first place.

On the other hand, my husband discovered the whole life he wanted when we met, at least that’s what he tells me. And just like the shells, my various pieces of different lives fit very nicely into his life.


Taverlee Jaye is a writer, dancer, and mother of two living in Maryland. She is passionate about dance and healing arts. To keep up with her writing, follow her blog Faux Suburban Mom or like her page on Facebook.

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