Beautiful Disaster

Seashore Memories

A child
Ambling along the seashore
Parents walking hand-in-hand,
Talking quietly about
She runs ahead
Her French braids bouncing
Against her back
As she gleefully collides with the in-coming tide
Her dad calls her back to
Show her a smooth, untarnished,
Precious shell
It sparkles in the sun
And her eyes grown wide
And a smile spreads across her lips,
Glancing at the shell and then up at her father
“It's beautiful, daddy”
She wraps chubby fingers around the shell,
Gently puts it in her pocket,
Before running across the sands,
Stopping every few moments to
Let her feet be consumed by the sand
Or to gather up another seaside memory
Within minutes her
Her pockets bulge
Her hands are full of shells
As she walks back to the umbrella
Excitedly falling down to her knees
And emptying her hands and pockets
Of her treasures onto the towel
To admire them all again
She lines them up one by one
Her first is half of an oyster's shell
caked with barnacles.
The next is half of a scallop's shell,
Then the home of a sea-snail,
Who, as she finds out, it still residing inside
Various other shells with chips and knicks and holes
covered with barnacles
Her parents peer over her shoulder…
Shaking their heads and laughing
Her mom picks up the broken scallop's shell
“This one is broken, we should get rid of it,”
She says as she hurls the shell out toward the sea
The little girl frowns, gets up and retrieves it.
“No Mommy, it's beautiful!”
“But it's broken, don't you want whole shells?
Like the pretty one daddy found for you?”
“Mommy, just because it's broken doesn't mean it's not beautiful.”

When did we forget what we once inherently knew as children?

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