My fondest memories from childhood always occurred during the week between Christmas and New Year’s Eve, when all of my cousins would visit from around the country to stay in the ocean front timeshare our grandparents kept. My mother is one of five, and all of her siblings have at least 4 children, you do the math – I have a lot of cousins. I loved the week of swimming and laughter with my family but there was one special thing that I looked forward to most; The Annual Cousin Shell Hunt.
We were given a list and sent on a beach combing mission to find the best in each category: the roughest shell, the smoothest shell, the biggest shell, the smallest shell, the shell that was the most shimmery-glimmery, and the shell with the most holes. The flattest shell, the swirly-est shell, the fattest shell, the skinniest shell ……. The list went on and on, covering everything under the Florida sun from ‘most unique shell’ to ‘pair of most similar shells’.
After hours of hunting, we would gather around the patio and share what we had discovered. It was brilliant on our parents’ part for many reasons: First of all, it kept all of the running, screaming, excited children busy and out of their hair for the day. Secondly, while it was a fierce competition saturated with rivalry and murderous glances to any cousin that tried to creep up on the shell patch I was digging through, we all came out a winner; there were enough categories for all of us to win at least once.
There wasn’t one cousin who had the best shell over all – we all had the best shell in one way or another. It was fascinating to observe and compare what each of us had brought to the table. Looking back, not only did the game give us something fun to do and give our parents some quiet time to relax, it taught the great life lesson of appreciating things for what makes them special. Even the most broken shell that may have been ordinarily passed over without a second glance became a highly coveted trophy piece when placed in the right spotlight (‘the most broken shell’ category, for example).
Just as there are innumerably different kinds of shells on the beach, there are an infinite number of talents in life; each one of them extraordinary in their own special way. One talent isn’t the best over all, we each have our own personal best, something interesting and unique that we can bring to the table and share with those around us. If we go out into the world looking for the best in each other, the list of different talents goes on forever covering every quality under the sun from best story-teller to best listener. Whether it’s knowing the right amount of spice to add to a recipe, which direction is north or how to accessorize an outfit, everyone has a talent. EVERYONE.
Your talents are a natural part of you … as natural as your laughter and as innate as taking a breath, yet since they come so easily, we often overlook or undervalue them because they take so little thought and effort. When we celebrate the qualities that make each of us extraordinary, we encourage and reflect the best in everyone around us. And so the mission, should you choose to accept it, is to go out into the world with your mind’s eye looking to discover the hidden talents in every person you encounter whilst sharing with the world the gifts you’ve been blessed with. Here’s a list to get you started, though the categories are endless…………
-the most organized laundry room
-the best one liners
-the most enthusiastic team member
-the best dancer at the wedding reception
-the best movie selector
-the best dog whisperer
-the warmest hug giver
-the most infectious laugh
-the best shoulder to cry on
-the best gift giver
-the ability to crack an egg with one hand
-the neatest handwriting
– the always cool as a cucumber person
– the always on timer
-the snazzy dresser
-the joke teller
-the crossword puzzle phenom
-the mutli lingualist
-the green thumb
-the best blow dryer
-the best mixed tape maker
-the always has a clean car goddess
-the can-whistle-with-her- fingers cool girl
-the best restaurant orderer
-the never forgets a name genius
I hope that if I was a shell this would be me; the Pearl Nautilus.
Not only is the Pearl Nautilus is an ethereal shimmery glimmery thing of beauty, the inside of every Nautlus shell is a perfect example of Sacred Geometry and fractals.
I have a fascination with fractals for some reason, maybe because the simple perfection is proof to me that this world is not an accident. It’s almost as if religion and science come together in sacred geometry. Fractals and sacred geometry to me, are proof that from the smallest particle of matter, no matter how you exponentially magnify or increase it’s size, the intelligent pattern remains the same, proof that there is a master plan even if you can’t necessarily see it with your own eyes.
So ya, I’d be the Pearl Nautilus……guess you could say this is me in a naut-shell………………. I know, so bad.