touch the edge

 

 

It was early evening light on a pebble beach on a hot day. It was me, and a beautiful 10 year old girl, both in our bare feet, waves splashing. We had made the trek to the small stretch of shore on the big lake to hunt. To scour. To search and fill our palms and pockets with washed up treasures.

We set out on a westerly course, away from factory smoke and dog-walkers. We passed a few other scavengers: a pair with arms laden with large rocks; another couple, fists full of sticks. Otherwise, we were all alone, heads down, eyes roaming.

While my blonde-haired companion was collecting black stones and smooth grey rocks, I had my eyes set on mermaids tears. Beach glass. I have a weakness for it, and every piece I find, no matter how small, delights me. Every single time.

My small satchel was gathering a good haul – some nice clear white pieces, a few greens. I even found a holy stone, another cherished beach-combing treasure that my friend Veronica opened my eyes to last year. I was feeling lucky.

To the west, the walking stretch of the beach ends at a rocky point. The land narrows, and most ramblers don’t bother to go that far. We had been combing for a while, and our bags were getting full, and my sun-kissed partner was wondering when we were going to turn around. We were both getting hungry. But, for whatever reason, I had it in my head that on this day I needed to go as far as I could – I wanted to go all the way to the edge.

I couldn’t turn around just yet.

I mean, I could. Sure I could. And part of me thought that I should. Just turn around, head back to the car, call it a day. Our pockets were full.

But no. I couldn’t shake this little thought that kept dancing inside my head that said: sometimes the best gifts are found right at the very edge.

So I pointed to the big rock at the far edge of the shore, and told my girl that I just needed to make it to that rock, and then we could turn around and head home. Almost as soon as I took my next step, a beautiful piece of deep blue glass caught my eye, half buried in sand. Lifting it up, I grinned: I would never have known that I was one step away from this gem if I had packed it in and just turned around.

In the few moments it took me to reach my rocky edge, I found the three best pieces of beach glass I found all day. When I put my foot down on my goal, the big rock at the far edge of the shore, I held out my hand and took a picture.

sea glass - R.Kennedy

……

It’s just pieces of glass, I know.

But in that moment, for me, it was a reminder. It was a reminder that sometimes I need to take myself right to the edge; a reminder that what is easier is not always what is best; and that sometimes the best stuff is waiting just ahead…but I won’t see it unless I take the next step.

And…just to top it all off…as I turned to walk back from the edge I looked down and found my second holy stone of the day, which is a new record for me. I always thought that finding one holy stone at a time was more than amazing. Apparently this hot, pebbly, sun-streaked shoreline was on a mission to expand my expectations and coax me to my edges today.

As we made our way back to the start, my stone-heavy companion asked with wide eyes how I was able to find my handful of colored tears. I was quiet for a moment…what do I say?

How do you teach someone how to look with more than their eyes? How do you tell someone all that you are learning to see?

……

holy stone - R.Kennedy

 

 

 

Words + Photos + Credit

Unless otherwise noted, all original photography and text are property of Raechelle Kennedy. If you see or read something here and feel inspired to share it somehow, please be considerate and give the artist (me!) credit, or even better, drop me a note and make sure I don’t mind.
Thank you!

Here + There

Secondhand Sainthood and the gift of losing it all – Topology Magazine, December 2015

Ten Things Made – Topology Magazine, December 2015

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