I have assembled quite a collection of beach glass. A recent search yielded more pieces for my trove: white, light turquoise, and brown. The more prized colors are green, blue, and the rare red.
I have some of those too. A friend dropped them into my hands as we searched one summer day. I didn’t know how to recognize beach glass. She teased me — “Here’s one. Here’s another one”– as I looked in vain.
I remember that day: the sunshine, her lessons on finding it, my pocket growing heavier with each piece, and how she had to ask me to hold her hand while she navigated a drop off. We didn’t know if we’d ever make it back.
We never did, but not for the reason we feared. By the next year the friendship was over. Abandoned and betrayed, I could not forgive her or myself for something I must have done. I knew the Lord’s Prayer; God forgives us by the measure of how we forgive others. Wise friends counseled me to let it go. But I kicked myself for being such a fool. Again.
As I wrestled with these feelings, I would return to the beach and always leave empty handed. I wondered how she found so many pieces. Soon I gave up.
Then God sent a poem to my inbox: “Gather” by Rose McLarney. Read the poem, it’s not very long. I don’t know if the author intended a spiritual truth through her art, but I received one. The connection between apple trees and taking risks helped me take a fresh look at loss…and hope. It allowed me to be human. Maybe I wasn’t so foolish after all. I gained some distance, smiled a bit yes, yes, that’s me, and was freed to forgive.
Now I find beach glass.