Broken Shells Calling

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(Friday evening in Furadouro)

I mentioned yesterday that I loved the town of Furadouro and one of the reasons was the beach. Not the sand but the shells. Not the perfectly pretty and complete shells. The broken ones. I had started noticing broken shells on the beach at Vila Chã, I thought they were interesting but not as interesting as the terracotta coloured stones. Then at Lavos Praia there were no terracotta stones but loads and loads of little broken shells.

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(A mix of broken shells and pebbles)

They weren’t everywhere, they seemed to be washed up in a line parallel to the tide line… a broken shell line, but there were so many I couldn’t but notice them. I started picking them up and once I started it was hard to stop, it was like they were calling me. Why would they be calling me?

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(Some of the bigger shells I saved!)

The ones in Furadouro were bigger, the chipping away had only begun, but in time (unless I saved them?) they would be tiny little broken bits. I wonder if shells start off perfectly pretty and complete somewhere up north and they get little pieces chipped off as they travel south, until they are so small they look like sand. I saved a bag full from Furadouro. I think I know why they were calling me…

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(and more…)

When I picked up the first broken shell I was surprised it was so smooth at the broken edge. It was like it had been sanded with sandpaper. Of course it had been sanded with the original sandpaper… sand. That’s why I kept picking them up. They were lovely to hold and to run my finger along the smooth edge. And they reminded me of buttons. I love buttons. But it wasn’t just their button-like feel, I also recognised a human-like feel.

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(…more.)

We start off perfectly pretty and complete and then bits get chipped off and we’re broken. We feel broken. We chip off others. We break others. Everyone we know is broken in some way. But these shells were asking me… Can’t you see how different we are? How very interesting we are? How we are so, so beautiful in our brokenness? I’m bringing a bag of broken beautiful shells home, please let me know if you’d like one to remind you that you are beautiful.

Step 12. Believe it, you are so, so beautiful, Mairead.

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