Tell me what it is you want to do with your one wild and precious life? -mary oliver

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Broken Shells

My time to read is limited, so I grab non-fiction books as my genre of choice during the school year.  I picked up at copy of Chicken Soup for the Soul, Children with Special Needs at the library and have enjoyed reading some short excerpts through the family's lenses about their children.

    A mother and her 4-year old were collecting shells one summer at the beach.  She was meticulously searching out whole, complete shells to place in her bucket, while her son was picking up many broken ones so his bucket was starting to fill up.  When she looked in the bucket, all she saw were bits, pieces, and fragments of broken shells.    She stopped him and said, "Will, all your shells are broken and no good.  You need to find shells like this," and showed him a complete, whole shell.  Will looked, but continue to pick up one broken shell after another. 

    She stopped him again, with a frustrated tone in her voice.  "Why are you picking up shells that are broken?"  Will replied the only, honest way he could, "Mom, there are way more broken ones on the beach than perfect ones.  We'll fill up our bucket faster with the broken shells."  His mom thought, Okay but who wants a bucket of broken shells?  "Mom, these shells are broken, but they are still beautiful," and proceeded to point out something beautiful on each broken shell in his bucket.  His mother was taught the most valuable lesson that sunny, afternoon.

    We are all broken in some way, but possess beauty and uniqueness beyond belief.  If we take time to look closely at the broken shells, we can see beauty in their imperfections. 
    Debbie Jaskot


  1. Broken Shells indeed. Thank you for this post. I need to see the beauty in the brokenness more often.

  2. Emmy has always collected bucket after bucket of broken shells...and she shouts with delight as she finds each one.

    I will treasure her shell collection even more from now on...