The Perfect Brokenness of a Sand Dollar

One of my great joys when I am walking on the beach is to look for natural treasures. I feel like I have hit the jackpot if I find a whole and perfect looking sand dollar. Perhaps it’s the calming bisque color, each uniquely stamped, containing similarities with enough distinctions to exhibit ones individuality from the next one that sparks my fascination. Eventually I learned that the sand dollar is often a symbol of peace. Perhaps that is the connection that I am metaphorically inclined to believe. Each shell shares the characteristic that they always contain 5 doves5 perfect doves within them each occupying their own identifying space within. The doves resemble an even more microscopic significance within the seemingly small existence that the sand dollar itself has to offer.  Today, on my walk from Robert Moses State Park to Ocean Beach Fire Island, I looked down and spotted a broken one.  A big part of it was missing, all it’s doves were gone. I realizIMG_5584ed it’s perfection in its brokenness. Like a Charlie Brown Christmas tree, it was worthy enough to be considered. I picked up the shell and examined it. Weathered, tossed and tattered. It has been through much more than the perfect sand dollar that appears to have it all together. Though this piece looks broken, it is complete nonetheless. It’s missing parts are out there somewhere in the world and it has left pieces of itself along different parts of its journey. Those pieces have touched upon something. What I believe to be the biggest part is what has arrived at exactly where it is right now in some in between town (perhaps I am in Kismet, maybe Lonelyville) on the way to my destination. I decide to carry the broken sand dollar with me through the next part of the journey. Though I can only imagine where the rest of it is, I can allow for its symbolism and brokenness to teach me that to be significant you don’t have to appear whole to the critics, rather feel whole with who you are.

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