After a restless night of sleep (both twins kept me up), I snuck out to the beach to clear my head, improve my mood and re-energize myself for the day ahead.
I was hopeful that I beat the person who’s job it is to sweep the beach, not with a broom like they did in South Africa, but a tractor!
I was on the hunt for a really special shell. I had seen fragments of it the day before- large, orange and pink, grooved.
Although it was relatively early, I noticed more and more people walking along the beach. Some getting their exercise, others like me on the hunt. I upped my pace and overtook a couple of ladies that were clearly looking. A feeling came over me, that I was too late, all the fresh morning treasures scooped up by those faces walking by or bending down.
I noticed a girl pause up ahead, and look at a patch of shells, mostly shards. I decided to slow my pace and consider my surroundings a little closer. I wanted there to be a treasure waiting just for me.
And there it lay.
It surprised me.
It wasn’t what I had been looking for but it was the most welcome surprise – a magnificent star fish as big as my hand. It was black and soft so I figured it was still alive. I snapped a photo, turned it over and saw the brightness it had to offer me.
Never having come across one before I was debating whether it was alive or dead (but wet and soft from the surf). It was in that moment I decided I had to act fast and toss it back into the water, just in case it would survive. An older gentleman stopped and admired the find. I wavered then, knowing how lucky I was to have found this star fish, how exciting it would be to show my twins.
I picked up the pace, raised my arm and tossed it back into the surf.
Today I was given a treasure. I was given a choice. Even though I badly wanted my prize, I had to honor the life that was possibly still flowing through this amazing creature. And knowing that someone else could walk home with the prize, I still walked back and hoped it lived.
My prize was waiting for me at home, and I had a great photo I couldn’t wait to show them.
Have you ever been looking for something in your life but something better showed up instead? Or surprise yourself by a hard choice you made?
Here is a sign I happened to notice at the start of my walk – I can’t help but think I saw this sign and took note even though I had walked past it a dozen times before…