I enjoy walking by the ocean. The cry of the gulls looking for their next meal. The crash of the waves as they pound the shore into soft, squishy sand. An azure sky melting in aquamarine water. The immensity of it all overwhelms my senses and quiets my mind. I feel at peace here.
As I walk, I find little treasures along the way. Shells of various colors and shapes; tiny homes, abandoned by their prior owners find their way into my pocket. And then, I spot it. An unusual stone shaped like a heart partly buried in the soft sand. I stop to admire it. After a few minutes of considering whether I should take it, I decided to leave it. On my return, I find myself searching the sand for the lovely heart-shaped stone I had left behind. I had just about given up ever finding it on this wide expanse of shoreline, when I see it, glistening in the sun. I think about digging it up to add to my collection, but something holds me back…it’s so perfect right where it is; like it was deliberately poured by some unseen creative hand to grace this specific patch of sand. I decide it needs to stay and I take a picture of it instead.
I often find heart-shaped stones on my beach walks, and I like to think they are left for me to find by my mom who passed several years ago. I found my first one on a beach in Wells, Maine in 2006. I had buried my mom the week before. Brokenhearted, I was drawn to the ocean for some measure of comfort. I don’t remember how long I was walking along that beach, but as the tide rushed in late that afternoon, I ran to the nearest set of steps to escape the rising water. And then, I saw it – a small, black stone shaped like a perfect heart. I held it in my hand and brought it up to my own heart and felt comforted. Ever since I imagine these stone hearts on the beach are little reminders of mom’s continued love for me from the world of spirit. And I smile.
I framed the picture I took of the unusual heart stone I most recently found on the coast of California. Every time I walk by it, I’m reminded of that beautiful, sunny day at the shore where I was surrounded by the timeless beauty of nature and found another remarkable token of love from the universe.
From the spontaneous laughter and joy of children at play to your houseplant sprouting a new leaf despite your awkward and intermittent attention, life is astonishing in so many beautiful ways.
I bet you can easily identify a little miracle of your own every day of your life if you choose to look.
Try it. And smile.