But the truth is that a seashell is not just a seashell. It once held a creature so delicate that it had to build itself a wall so thick that only a fisherman's knife would open it. Or so thick that a sea otter had to float on it's back and use a tool to smash it open. Shells were used by ancient indian tribes to call to one another. Mound Key in Florida is an actual mound of oyster shells that the indians had eaten and discarded, so shells are an archaeologists dream. Remember the first big shell you ever held up to your ear and could swear you hear the ocean? Seashells give us beaches of beautiful white sand and coral in the depths of the ocean to snorkel to and discover hidden treasures beneath.
What made my gift from Joy so special was that this particular shell had a heart broken into it. It inspired thoughts for me such as, when we see hearts in nature, is that what Mother Nature's heart looks like? Does our Earth contain life at levels our eyes and ears can't distinguish, but our hearts can? Is this Mother Nature wearing her heart on her sleeve? I look back at moments of being in Nature and seeing hearts around me.
Like the time I was hiking the ridge trail at Radnor Lake. As I enjoyed the sound of the wind in the trees, the sun on my face, my breath in my lungs, I glanced down to the rocky path, and there, in the middle was a heart shaped rock. I noticed it but kept on walking. All of a sudden, I thought to myself, if I didn't go back and get it, really SEE it, was I ignoring Mother Nature? I turned around and went back down the path. Would you know, I found that same heart-shaped rock within minutes. It was as if it was calling to me. Today, that little rock sits on my bedroom window sill.
Recently I was hiking on the north shore of Kona, and I was so focused at putting one foot in front of the other, making sure I didn't slip and fall, that I wasn't noticing what was around me. But taking a moment to look beyond the tips of my shoes, I noticed the gravel and rocks and dried leaves. Not just any leaves, but here they were, heart-shaped! It seemed that they were placed "just right" and once again, I saw the heart. And the more I looked, the more I saw. Now that I am home and look back, I wonder if it was my own heart calling to the heart of the islands. Like many who venture to Hawaii, we fall in love. Not with some one but with a spirit of the islands that you can't see but you can definitely feel. So in this case, could I say that Pele's heart was being worn on her sleeve? I would say absolutely yes!
You can see those hearts every where you go. They aren't just "flowers" or "leaves", they have that shape for a reason. But how often do we take the time or even make the time, to try and figure out why? There is so much that we take for granted and so many things that we assume will be there for us forever. Just as I did during my hike, I was focused on putting one foot in front of the other, not looking beyond my own toes. However, if we stop to breathe, and truly breathe, from the depths of our souls, it is in those moments of stillness when our senses are heightened and we are more aware of our surroundings. We reconnect to the cave dwellers that we once were, leaving our strappings of condo dwelling and find solace in the simplicity and the stillness.
There was a song that I used to listen to, and I can't recall the title of it nor, who wrote it but the words are along the lines such as this "It's written on the wind, it's every where I go, so if you really love me, come on and let it show." The love that we can touch in ourselves, from being in Nature, is such a simple one. It's not complicated, there are no rules, there are no conditions. It's a love full of color and content, of a beauty that can bring tears to your eyes and your heart fills with wonder. There are color combinations that human beings would not put together but just somehow seem to "work" in Nature. Look for the hearts in Nature, and in those times when you can't see them, just re-create them. I challenge everyone who reads this to take a day to live from your heart. Not a few moments or a few hours but an entire 24 hour period. It will change your life and open you to possibilities that you never dreamed possible.