A new year is a great time to take inventory of our priorities, set goals and dream big. Sometimes our plans are large and life-changing, like choosing a college, changing careers, or relocating to a new neighborhood. But sometimes it’s the little things added up together that make the biggest impact, like an impromptu walk to Starbucks with a child, turning off the TV and playing a game, or a quiet conversation over a great glass of wine. These are the moments that define life.
Recently, I spent the day with a friend who wanted to take me beach glass hunting. We had been talking of this day trip for a couple of years and finally decided to make it happen. After a peaceful ferry ride on a spectacular fall day, we drove to North Beach near Port Townsend, a quiet beach notorious for its bountiful beach glass.
As I started hunting, I was disappointed that there weren’t large chunks of glass lying in wait for me to pick them up…I had always thought that beach glass only consisted of healthy-sized pieces. No, what we hunted for were tiny, gem-sized bits that, put together in a clear bag, made for a good-sized handful of sparkling, beautiful color. The slower we went, the more we found, sometimes sifting through handfuls of sand and pebbles to find the treasures. There were people on the beach who had collected large bags of these little pieces of color and when grouped together, they were stunning. Big pieces were rare, but the small pieces were bountiful if we took the time to look hard enough.
This year, we have some large, life-changing events happening in our family that will move us into a different phase of life. Because school graduations don’t happen often but tend to alter life dramatically when they do, and we have two of them, I plan to do what I can to look beyond those large pieces of glass, sift through the pebbles, and search for the little gems, those snatches of time that are so precious. Added up, these are what give sparkle and color to life.
And life will be more beautiful because we slowed down and took the time to find the gems.