When I was a little girl, my mom would take us combing the beach for sand dollars.
Anytime we visited the ocean, she’d gather us up and off hunting for its treasures we’d go.
Somehow it always made the rest of the world seem to disappear.
The water would roll over our legs as the tide pulled our feet deeper into the sand. The sound of the wind and the waves made the noise we’d carried with us to the beach fall silent. Our skin felt warm in the sun as we squinted to see beneath the foam around our ankles.
The only expectation was to be together and look…
Look for those sand dollars.
Sometimes I felt my mom’s arm wrap around me. Sometimes we talked about nothing in particular. Sometimes our chats drifted deeper. Sometimes we walked hand in hand. Sometimes one ran forward and another followed. Sometimes we waded farther into the waves. Sometimes we stopped to dig into the sand. Sometimes our gaze followed the passing seagulls. Sometimes we found sand dollars.
But always, always we felt together.
Now that I’m a mom myself, when we visit the ocean, we hunt too. We hit the sand and look for those treasured sand dollars.
And I get it. I realize that my mom knew all along, what’s only just been revealed to me.
It felt amazing to reach down and pull up a perfect white circle with its delicate pedaled etching from the sand. We jumped. We celebrated. We danced.
But it wasn't the sand dollars that my mom was seeking.
She sought “us.”
She knew that the truest treasure would unveil itself when the rest of the world became blurry… togetherness shifting into perfect focus.
So I’ll keep on chasing that treasure too.
Whether we're walking the beach, hiking through woods, hopping a creek or in our own backyard it matters not.
We need only nature's lullaby to our soul and the seeking of togetherness...
to find the joy of a sand dollar.