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This past November, I sat outside with the slight chill of early winter rushing through the air. There were six of us, old friends noshing on food and filling up with laughter.
A few weeks later, I pull my car alongside my mailbox, pull the door down and snatch the mail. I spy a handwritten card. I tear at the white envelope.
I read the words aloud. They are from my friend. I will call her “Belle.”
“Colleen, you have a rare spirit that lights up the lives of many, draw on that strength and light up your own life.”
I am typically self-deprecating, yet I read the words brazenly to a few that are close to me. As if to say, “look, she still recognizes me.”
I am not really the woman who is blatantly disappearing from her youth. That young girl, is not completely gone, I am just getting tossed around again and again because I have lost myself in life and love.
Like a piece of cut glass thrown into the ocean. The games of marriage and divorce keep pulling me down and thrashing me around as I try to make my way to shore. Each time, the crisp, sharp, beautiful edges that once defined me, the very best of me, wearing down to a cloudier vision.
I have lost sight of the better part of me. Of the beautiful edges. Instead, it is easier to see the cloudier version. The one I don’t care for quite so much since the waves of relationship worries wore me down. I have always been hard on myself only now I find myself unusually hard on myself.
It is not long before I am sitting beside another friend. We are laughing and yet, I glimpse a moment where I fear that she too, is losing sight of her crisp, sharp, beautiful edges.
I am wiser this time. I am smart enough to see that the, ‘true inner beauty’ of my always gorgeous friend is in jeopardy. I know that I must grab a mirror. I need to tip it towards her reflection so that she can see what I see.
I sit to write her a letter. I tell her of all the things that make up her own, “Rare spirit that lights up the lives of many.”
I tell her that I do not want her to lose sight of who she is and, like my friend before me, I tell her to “draw on that strength and light up her own life.” I want her to know that this is not the complete journey of our loss of self that it seems to be. That we are evolving into a new and different beauty, but our glass is still the same color.
I am no longer the old me and believe me for quite some time there was no one sadder about that than me, but sea glass is made more beautiful through its beaten, ocean journey.
Then, when it seems it can be thrashed around no more, it finds its way to a new beach away from the one that cast it aside and towards someone else who recognizes its evolved beauty.
I pull my car alongside my mailbox, pull the door down and snatch the mail. I spy a handwritten card. I tear at the white envelope………….it is a thank you card for a gift. At the very bottom are a few personal words. A mirror being tipped in my direction. They tell me that this friend still recognizes the color of my glass and they still think it’s beautiful.
They aren’t looking for the ‘old’ me……What a relief because I am tired of trying to retrieve her.
On the contrary, they think my worn edges reflect my strength and that the ocean journey has polished my color.