Crossing Boulevard

with Rev. Rachel


I collect seashells at the shoreline. I collect seashells at the shoreline because it brings me comfort. It woos me out of a guarded posture and into crouches and furrowed brows that we are told to bury along with our childhood. I collect seashells at the shoreline because it opens me (v.34).

Sometimes a gentleman just down the beach tosses his reservation to the breeze and follows suit. Maybe he reconnects with the fact that gentle precedes man— that the meek shall inherit the earth. Or maybe I remind him of his daughter...he remembers her saying she'd like some for her city windowsill...in any case, the two of us scour.

You cannot pick up the broken ones without beholding your own jagged edges. You cannot decide that one is unfit for keeping without seeing to it that you put it back sharp side in the sand, for there are other feet. I can't, at least.

And the smooth ones, well, are they not dropped from the heart of God? To assure us of the grace that takes us on, and over time, is true as true can be to the task that is each one of us. Which of course, brings the sound of the water, rumbling, swelling, battering, withdrawing, to the forefront and I wonder how many times we fail to see things, people, forces like this water doing their work.

David joined the hunt a while ago. He made sure to tell me it was a lost cause (a scalloped one big enough to hold the others). But I caught him looking. He wanted to know if a conch would do--one like they sell outside that pirate shop further inland. I told him for $7.95 it might. [He knew when he said it, that I'd offer a colorful no thank you. A perfect shell shellacked to shine is a lie.]

And so I'll keep at it. Thinking the guy down the beach struck gold. I’m not mad. I hope he's got a safe place inside that Chevy to carry it. I’m also thinking about how we all have it; that is, that seashell-hunt equivalent that opens us, that gets us crouching and furrowing like a fortune is on the line.

Here’s the thing: One Is. The treasure is being alive for goodness' sake. So don't stop hunting, friends. And don't lose your appetite for what is neither bought nor earned, but found.

UncategorizedRachel May