Today on my walk I was listening to Rachel Remen's book My Grandfather's Blessings. This is actually my second time through it because it is packed with nuggets of wisdom and thoughts that need reflection, more attention that I could give it with the first listening. (Also, it is not a long book, and next week I'm attending a book group that is reviewing it).
My Grandfather's Blessings is a work of non-fiction about what Rachel Remen has learned in her life about being blessed by life and blessing others. It talks about service, feeling whole, how we see and treat ourselves and others, and many other insights into life.
One nugget I was reflecting on this morning is her observation on oysters. Oysters, she reminds us, are very soft creatures that need a hard shell to live in just to survive. Regularly, they open in order to be able to breath in water. Consequently, a grain of sand occasionally enters the soft part of the oyster as well. This grain of sand is painful as it rubs against the tender insides of the animal, but it will forever be part of her now. The oyster deals with this by coating the grain of sand to smooth its sides, and eventually, after time and effort, turns what was painful into something beautiful.
I hope that I can remember, the next time I feel that grain of sand scraping at my tender insides, that even though I can't make it feel good immediately, I can choose to start to turn it into something beautiful.
p.s. Turns out I listened to an abridged version, but someone at the book group gave me their copy, so now I'm gradually filling in the parts I missed. It's a great book for picking up and reading a short chapter, even out of order or months apart.