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A small gift with great meaning

Posted by Jools Andres on Thursday, May 17, 2012 Under: yamas
Wandering on the seashore recently, I found myself picking up beach glass. That isn't unusual, but I don't really plan to do it. Over the years I have filled a few bowls and small crystal vases with the sand-blasted bits of green, brown, white, blue, and (the extra-special) lavender remnants. Their role in my house is to imbue small spaces with the essence of the ever-changing seaside.
My eyes scanned the areas where glass settles, always among pebbles of similar, pinky nail-size, and on the ocean-facing side of logs and rocks. A green speck. A white one.
The wind was cold and I buttoned my jacket up to the neck. I saw an elderly couple coming toward me. Their silhouettes revealed a relaxed aimlessness, a slow pace with stops to look at a tug pulling a log boom on the Salish Sea. Bending to pick up things. We drew alongside one another.
"I see you're gathering treasures, like me," the white-haired man smiled.
"Just a few glass bits," I said. I opened my hand to show three nuggets. "There's something about beach glass that I really like."
He put one of his hands under my wrist and opened the other one to gently drop several dozen sea gems from his hand into mine.
"Add these to your collection," he said. "I knew I was picking them up for something."
"But that's so much. There must be fifty pieces!" I said.
"Enjoy them," he smiled.
His wife smiled too, and off they went, meandering down the shoreline.
Now I have another dish filled with the sea's erosive work displayed on a windowsill–a few pieces of shells, tiny black volcanic stones polished smooth with the ages, and time-etched glass in many shades. The bowl and its contents is like others in my house, but this one also is filled with the spirit of generosity. And a lesson in action not attached to acquisitiveness (aparigraha, the fifth yama).

In : yamas 


Tags: non-attachment  aparigraha  non-acquisitiveness 



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