Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Collecting Sea Shells

This week's quote is:
"One cannot collect all the beautiful shells on the beach. One can collect only a few, and they are more beautiful if they are few."~ Anne Morrow Lindbergh ~

I guess this means that life cannot be all beauty and fun and greatness. That life is only beautiful because the crappy stuff makes what isn't crappy more wonderful. I guess that makes sense.

My weekend away was wonderful because I had no commitments, no real plans, nothing standing in my way. I was able to spend time with friends and family uninterupted and it was amazing.

Right now I am frustrated with work (to see why, read yesterday's entry) and all I really want to do it run away. I want to start over. Begin a new life with Bob somewhere else...anywhere else. What I really want to do is raise horses and use them to help kids in need of physical therapy. I want a half dozen dogs and a bunch of cats. I want land near water and a porch. I want hard physical labor and a soft hammock to nap in. I want sunrises and sunsets and a gigantic garden. All of these things would be the seashells on the shore of my life. Right now I feel as if I am drowning in the sea of responsibilities and I need to land on the beach. I keep treading water, but all I get is tired.

When we are in Florida, my favorite place to visit is not Disneyworld. I get excited for our visits to the ocean. I love the waves, the power, the vastness, the sounds, and I love collecting shells. I always walk the beaches in search of new, odd, and beautiful specimens of sea shells. I pick them up, wash them off and bring them home. I live in landlocked Minnesota. We don't have sea shells in Minnesota. The shells I bring home remind me of our trip and our time at the ocean. They still smell of salt and sand and wind and ocean. I love our shells. I am happy for the memories. Part of me wishes we lived at the ocean so we could smell the sea and hear it every day. But if we lived at the sea, it might not be as special to me as it is. I might come to take it for granted...or even worse, I might come to hate it. I might come to hate the salt that covers everything and the wetness that is forever warping. I might come to see the sea as something to dread. Something that annoys rather than something majestic and holy and grand.

I guess in the same way I cherish my memories of the good times. If everything was all good all the time, I would not look upon the good times as I do. I would not consider them fondly and with good will. They would just be there. Maybe some day I will look upon this difficult time with a certain type of fondness as well. Maybe one day I will look back on the changes this time brought about and the lessons I learned and will realize that I had to go through them in order to get to the next thing, the next level, the next "ocean of awe" for me. I sure hope so. I don't feel like collecting times like this. Not like I do the good times and the good memories. But without the tough times, I may not grow to appreciate the good times as I do.


Anonymous said...

I think no matter what "lot" in life your given, you will still feell the sameness that happens with life. Read Ecclesiates! The day in day out monotony of sameness.

If you are married with kids, there is the day in and day out of people needing, clammering, pulling for your help. First the long nights of no sleep followed by days of routine of dirty diapers, crying and clammering for your attention. There are days where you don't get a shower much less get dressed. Then you are isolated from the world due to all that. Hence the need for MOPS, kiddie playdates etc. and you just want to have another adult to converse with..without interruption would be nice. Then there's the budget restrictions of all that..you NEED new underwear desparately but the kids need shoes! Then they begin to grow up a bit and don't need you so much so you begin to see a glimmer of "light" where you can have a bit of a life of your own.
If you're lucky, you don't also "need" to work a job. But more likely you will! That responsibility along with ALL the rest pulls on you.

Amy what you are feeling is what so many other women are feeling~only it's different. Responsibility does come with life. There will be those days of wishing for something else, something better but where to find it??!! Perhaps what you need to an outlet away from your work that will "fill" you up! Where you will find an element of joy and will give you something to look foreward to. A hobby perhaps or volunteering/helping someone in more need than you. Giving where it's not 'expected'!

It's the "good times" that give for memories later...they generally come sporadically. It's as you say, "if NOT for the good times" you can't appreciate what you have. "If not for the bad times", you can't appreciate what you have!! The dichotomy of life!!

Heather said...

(((HUGS))) for you! Your blog was a blessing this morning ... I, too, dream of life on land, with tons of animals, a giant garden and a screen door that slams ;)

Be blessed today!

Anonymous said...

Be a blessing where you are!
The fact that you are going to school so as to not be in dead-end jobs that are boring! The schooling will enable you at least to look for positions that have more interest to you and will be the "key" that opens up more doors!
THEN...perhaps one day you can purchase the freedom of having the "life on the land, with annimals, gardens and screen doors" that you dream of.
You are a blessing...you just don't know it!!! :-)

Jana said...

Wonderful take on this quote! Thanks for sharing!

Sissy B. said...

I pray that when you read your comments on this quote you are encouraged. Life does try and run us over...and it is often very difficult to get up and scrub the tire marks off. My hope for you is that you stay connected with Christian Women Online...and read their blogs...they are an encouraging group of women...who are always ready and willing to encourage and inspire. God bless and may God walk beside you when you are able and may he carry you in His loving arms when you are tired.

Loni said...

" . . .all I really want to do it run away. I want to start over. Begin a new life with Bob somewhere else...anywhere else."

Ohhhh . . . can I relate here! I somewhat posted the same words a few days ago with struggles we are having since the death of our son. Yet, as you say, God uses the yuky things of life to show us the beautiful things.

Thank you for sharing here.

Trish said...

That was a great view of that quote! I loved it.

~Patricia said...

Dear one - thank you for being so vulnerable and opening up your heart to others that we might pray for you to be filled with the peace of God. May those shells you collected while in Florida not only bring back memories of a wonderful time away with your husband, but of this moment in time when you shared your heart and hurts and God poured out His healing love and bound up every wound!