The Shells

We walk the winter beach; we are alone. The wind is ice and it’s hard to breathe. The air is thick with the scent of snow, but the Atlantic is almost Caribbean: streaks of emerald green shift to grey and then blue again. The seagulls fly silver in the sky. One of my hands is jammed into the pocket of my red coat and the other is clenched around yours. We walk on the edge of the ocean, trying to avoid its tide grazing our boots. We step over broken shells, hundreds of of them. The waves wash over them, make them smooth, make them new. There was a time when we were broken, too. I didn’t think we would ever be put back together. 

Suddenly you stop your stride, reach down, pluck a shell from the sand. Light lavender and linen, a fragment of a former life, I roll it over in my fingers before placing it in my pocket. I’m not sure when you started this, this finding me a shell every time we visit the sea. I have saved each of them. They sit on my desk, reminding me that I’m loved. It wasn’t always like this. But, like the beach covered in broken pieces– we were washed new in waves of forgiveness. Grace made us whole again. The shells remind me. 🐚🌿

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