Tuesday, October 13, 2015

nut shell treasure

I found this perfect half shell on the ground as I was returning to my office after class. I almost walked past it, but decided to pick it up. So glad I did! It's a treasure. 

I don't know if the photos capture the miracle of this half shell, but it's a perfect cap for a sprite. About one inch in diameter, its bird-beak shingles layer like feathers, curving into a small point with a little tassel. It looks like a perfect winter cap, and the shades of golden brown would make a perfect contrast against the snow . 

Inside, the shell is even more beautiful with all its colors and textures. The velvet smoothness is a stark contrast to the bumpy exterior. The shifting colors ring the edge as a woody brown and then focus in a rich chestnut circle in the center. But there are layers to those, as well. A dark ring circles the chestnut center, and then a light ring of white pinpoints circles inside the chestnut--kind of like an eye, fascinating me with nature's artistry. 

I don't know why I picked it up. I think it's partly that having grandchildren has made me look at the little things in the world again, the tiny ants and the world that lives at their eye level. When I saw the little shell on the sidewalk, feet moving past it on both sides, my first thought was that my grandchildren would love it because it looked just like a little cap. But after I got a good, close look at it, I realized that I was so glad I had picked it up. It reminds me of the miracles that are all around me in the world, miracles just for us to notice and enjoy. The sunlight flickering on autumn leaves--golds and reds and oranges shining. The smell of the earth as it's readying itself for winter rest. In a little miniature, this shell is a treasure, caught in my hand, reminding me of all the treasures around me. 

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