How absolutely amazing it is that in such an abrasive, rough and tumble world, such as the Atlantic ocean, that such beauty and elegance washes up upon its shores. The forms of beauty are endless and character abounds! There is also a bit of irony in this beauty. It is said that beauty is in the eye of the beholder...let me tell you what I see.
In the ocean are some of the worlds most beautiful life forms. Here you find grace, color, flowing movement and shape. Here you find elegance. The beauty is diverse. Jellyfish, anemones, corals, fish, sea pansies and the list goes on and on. There are beautiful shells with such eye shattering color, pattern, design, texture, and some of the inhabitants that live inside are just as colorful as the shells themselves. They are Gods artwork and sometimes it is hard to imagine why some of these beautiful creatures are hidden under the water, mostly hidden from our eyes. But beauty need not always be flaunted...with the glimpses of it that we get, with the conditions and forms that washes up...it is enough for our eyes. Sometimes it is just the knowing that is enough.
Here is where some of the irony comes in. A shell and its inhabitant--perfect and beautiful-- lives in its watery world. As time goes on it ages and ageing as we all do we get bumps, bruises, scars...we fade, we wrinkle, we get flawed. We get flawed from time and age, from experience, from our environment, we get flawed from living.
We die and so does the inhabitant in the shell. The shell remains. Although our "shell" is buried and never seen again--the inhabitants shell goes on a lot of times. It may get used by another critter--a crab in most cases. He adds more flawing and character to it. Then he also dies. This recycling and sharing could go on for any number of years and in between this shell gets tossed around, beaten up, eaten up and then spit out, the abrasive sand and sea water takes its toll on the shells beauty and at some point in time the ocean itself spits it out and tosses it up on a beach somewhere. Perhaps hundreds of miles from where it first started. A beach comber comes along and revels in finding this shell--not perfect by far--its color faded, it has a few holes and a couple of chips, but it was Gods gift and the oceans gift that at this very moment it washed up at the feet of this beach lover. A fortuitous meeting. It has character and beauty of time and use...you can still see a hint of its young and original beauty. In many ways comparable to how our own human bodies react to our environs. And such is life. One realizes that beauty can be much deeper than just outside appearances. We appreciate the unseen qualities.
Walking along a little further one might come across a piece of sea glass. It may be white, green, blue, or amber...If real lucky, ruby red. As I find a piece of this I walk along holding it in my hand, reveling at its beauty, curious of its age and origins, and awe-struck at how this piece of refuse was not an original inhabitant here, but claimed by the ocean after someone forced it upon it. The ocean took it in and gave to it the same treatment that it gives all of its inhabitants. But instead of it washing up all rough, tumbled, aged looking, and broken, it washed up in its most beautiful form ever--even more beautiful than what it originally was! Just opposite of us! It washed up frosted and smooth to the touch and one cannot help but to continually rub over this piece and caress it. Its colors are made subtle and soft--it gives off a romantic aura. God has taken in something unwanted by man--has loved it and caressed it~unconditionally~and gave it back to us in a form that we-mere humans- can now see through enough to appreciate. There is mystery and intrigue to sea glass also-we have no idea where this piece of glass came from--was it pitched over by some dis-respecting person on a boat or a ship? Was it at one time a message in a bottle? And from how far away and how long ago? No matter now...for now it has been turned into beauty..naturally.
I find it ironic how a natural and beautiful inhabitant of the sea goes through its life--rarely seen by human eyes--in its most glorious form. Then by the time we see it, after it washes up somewhere, its outer beauty has mostly faded. We are forced to seek inner beauty. And then you have an old, man-made glass bottle that some person left behind. The ocean claims it as her own~shapes and molds it and gives it back to us in its most beautiful and perfect form~now one of nature. There is much to be said here regarding inner and outer beauty, of nature, of how God takes care of us. Of what he is showing us and teaching us.
The pictures above are treasures, shells and sea glass, that we found on some of our forays to the outer banks.