At the seaside, my daughter enjoyed playing and chasing waves. She also collected sea shells, the souvenirs of the sea, which we as a family helped her with.
While collecting them we talked about how beautifully they were coloured and patterned. We discussed the fact, it was the pigment in the food which the molluscs eat, that gives colour to its shell. I informed her of how this external skeleton was made; by absorbing salt and chemicals from the sea, which forms a hard layer, almost similar to human fingernails.
We chat about how seashells had been used in the past for magic, as a currency as well as jewellery.
What I couldn’t tell her was the strong comparison I felt with them. As a shy, introvert and overprotected child, I always found a secluding shell around me, perhaps a shell of inhibition or ego that prevented me to ‘let it go’, liberate and speak out.
Others saw it as a shell of pride, diplomacy and mystery. Time and again I borrowed this shell, trying hard to fit in with age and take it around just like a hermit crab.
It is said that people who talk less earn wisdom. An urge to write and share was not an outcome of wisdom but a strong propagation to open a window for me. A breeze of fresh air to breath and feel that freshness.
I no longer wanted to hold silent opinions but shout them out loud. Luckily, the change was gradual, I preferred to pen them down instead. With a strong urge to explore my hidden gift, spread and give back while I could.
This strength gave me the power to let go of my shell, to move on to the next stage in life, and to leave behind for others my words, my work…. my shell.
As I stepped out and looked around, I see in history the shells of some great people in different walks of life.
From writers to painters even
sportspersons, who have won not only the games of life but championships, left unmatched records and masterpieces that have yet not been surpassed.
It is indeed a passion, a talent and the right time of maturity that sets free a mind to find peace in what their heart desires.
The devotion and persistence become metamorphosis(reconstruction) that evolves one into a conspicuous secret superstar.
According to research, what it takes to make a mark is a vision to extend beyond one’s self, to benefit others and to serve.
Rest is all a secret, perhaps when one extends a helping hand to work for nature, nature accepts it in due time…to bring all means and resources, give wings, colour, vision, art to fly and ability to focus. Yet above all a feeling to face this challenge with a big smile to sing ‘this is me’.
However, when the bitter reality of owning a sand castle strikes…. when the soft, slimy body is eaten away, despite seemingly strong outer skeleton…there’s always a hope and promise for some curious child to collect this shell, to find it magical, to explore and be amazed.
There is also a chance of a hermit crab to locate, fit in this shell and take it from there to new ventures and new horizons. To treasure and value it as a jewel.
Life is all one big relay race, Nature will always be there with the new curious audience to amaze, bewilder and invite to reflect…..In this timed race while running to hand over my shelled baton, here is an advice.
My shell may be broken, imperfect and not too colourful, yet it will beam and intrigue you in a mysterious way… it has a touch of care and a colour of love… let’s pass on a message of hope.