The Colour of One’s Shell

Battered and bruised, but beautiful
Battered and bruised, but beautiful

I found this small cowrie on the beach this morning. It caught my attention because it was an unusual purple, adjoined with mottled greys and browns. I didn’t look at it closely when I picked it up, as I was thinking on other things, but I did notice that it felt rough in comparison to how cowries usually feel.
When I eventually got to have a good look at it I saw that it was damaged, its edges broken, the carapace ridged with wear. When I turned it over part of the inside shell was missing. Overall, it wasn’t a prime specimen. I got to thinking how sad that something so young should have been so battered, and carry such scars. Somehow I seem schooled to think that battle scars are only for the more mature, that the young should be exempt.
Such fallacy! Life is life and stuff happens. What counts is how we deal with that stuff, and how we move forward from it. Some people glow from their trials, others buckle under the weight of them.
As I carried on looking at this little cowrie, however, I thought it must have passed through its time of tribulation with flying colours. Purple is the colour of majesty and power, and it was the beauty of its colouring that caught my eye and led me to pick it up. I believe God thought it had done well enough to cloth it with colours of power and make it beautiful in spite of its wounds.
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune will ever be with us. How we address them occupies a number of themes developed by that Bard of old. Not much has changed with regard to the human condition since that time despite the technological developments that would contradict. Man is ever what he was, facing the same challenges and inward battles, winning some and losing others.
If you are a disciple of Stephen Covey, you will always look for the” win-win or no deal” strategy when faced with adversity. Some are of the “winner-take-all” mindset, others will walk a mile to avoid confrontation. It is this diversity, surely, that makes us so interesting.
Looking at the beauty of this little damaged shell, I find myself praying that when my end is come and my shell is washed up on the shores of life, I too will attract with the colour of my over com

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