When my sisters and I were little girls, growing up on the shore of Lake Michigan, we collected beach glass. It was everywhere back then. As children we spent nearly every day of the summer on the beach and we would carry beach glass home in our pockets and plastic beach pails and clasped tightly in our sand covered hands. We were sleepy and happy and sun-tanned at the end of those long summer days.
We were treasure-keepers.
Once home, the beach glass became our buried treasure. We hid the blue and green pieces deep in the cool earth within the woods surrounding our house. I am sure that some of it is still there, waiting for future generations of children to discover and claim as treasure again.
Beach glass results when broken pieces of glass bottles are carried out into the deep waters of the lake and tossed and turned and whipped about in the waves, year after year, until the process refines the shards of glass into soft, smooth treasure. When I was young, this story left me feeling sorry for the pretty pieces of glass that had to tumble through the cold, deep tumultuous water, be broken against rocks and drug across sand, in order to be refined; to become mine. I would look out across the waves and breathe deep and sigh and wonder.
Today, as a grown woman, I know that there is nothing that refines like a truly difficult trial. If you feel lost at sea, be comforted, for you are being refined.
The storm will settle.
The waves will calm.
You will be set upon the shore, ever the more beautiful for having endured.
And oh the joy to know that you are worth the trouble.