This week I found myself near the coast, and hiked over two hours to see an area where there were supposed to be tidal pools teeming with life. When I arrived, I found barnacles and mussels and anemones, which should have been enough to delight any junior scientist. But I was missing the dramatic sea slugs and urchins and stars, peering beneath craggy overhangs while my boots got soaked in the outgoing tide. I was tired and sore and thoroughly unimpressed with the glorious bounty before me.
Finally I turned around to begin the long hike back, and saw a glint in the crevice behind me, followed by another and another and another. The whole time I was whining about the starfish, I’d been standing with my back to a colony of magnificent jewel colored crabs, unlike any I’ve ever seen.
Dear ones, when we find ourselves squinting and poking and sighing with dissatisfaction, let’s note what is absent, and mourn a moment if need be. And then let’s turn to witness the wonders that have been right there all along, just waiting to be seen.
Of course, the next day there were starfish galore. But that’s a story for another time…