Sea glass. Crystalline, beautiful. Smoothed over edges, hand-crafted by the sea. I saw it in the sand, flush against the muted beige, as it beckoned to me.
My stride paused along the beach, and I stooped to pick it up. Still slightly damp, I held the sea glass to the blaze of the sun, closing one eye to look through it. The sunlight filtered through the glass claimed by the ocean, and the light that came from it emerged like a colorful confection. I was smitten, overjoyed. This beautiful thing had come to me, and so, I should take it. And so, the sea glass reached my pocket.
I continued my walk with a spring in my step, as my chest puffed up with pride. My feet made their marks in the sand, clear evidence of my ongoing journey. The horizon stretched before my eyes, the blue of sky unmarked by clouds, and a thin line in the distance, separating ocean from air.
My thoughts wandered back to the sea glass as I walked, and I reached for my pocket again. Drawing the artifact to my waiting palm, I gazed at it quizzically. It seemed so… ordinary. Just a hardened, smoothed out piece of glass. I wondered at it, as my footprints emerged from the soles of my feet.
Where the sea glass seemed to dance in harmony with its brothers and sisters, the rocks of the ocean, it now seemed to be muted, its light lonely and faded. Where the ocean tides wet the glass and made it glisten, it seemed dull in my hand.
And so my thoughts turned back to the matters of the world. To my accomplishments, to my ambition. In that moment, I realized my accomplishments were not unlike this sea glass. Glistening, vibrant, and desirable when I couldn’t reach it; monotone, faded, and worn when it was in my possession.
Shall I be grateful? Will that bring back the vibrancy? It’s a question that I don’t yet know how to answer.
By Saalik Lokhandwala.