Searching for the Whole is Where I Discovered the Pieces

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I have this favorite 6km stretch of beach on the east coast of South Africa. I love to run there at low tide and as I run, I keep my eyes open for pansy shells. They can be found just after high tide in the wet sand at the shoreline where the waves crash onto the beach. Given that pansy shells are so fragile they are often broken into smaller pieces. At one point I noticed that I was in search of only the perfectly whole pansy shell. When I’d find a whole one I’d feel incredibly fortunate because they are exquisite and unique to this area. However, I often found half broken pansy shells and most often, I would walk by. One morning, as I glanced a broken one and continued to walk, I turned back. It occurred to me that beauty isn’t only in the perfectly whole ones, it’s also in the broken ones. And that this is quite possibly a metaphor for our lives. Isn’t it essential that we reflect on the pieces that make up the whole? And that if we did that more often, we might find ways to bring the pieces together?

Isn’t the truth that there is far more that is broken than there is whole? I’m curious about why we seem uncomfortable with this and how we might allow ourselves to accept that most of our lives are disrupted, broken or interrupted pieces that are valuable in their parts and also in their coming together as a whole.


Nature and Life

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