the broken ones

The wind hurled raindrops at my skin like tiny, watery darts. My hair blew in my face, flying around water-smeared sunglasses while waves slapped at my ankles. My world was a blurry swirl of wetness and cold. I was tired and miserable, trudging on while the world assailed me.

The edge of something in the sand caught my eye, a sand dollar maybe?

My spirits started to lift. How neat would that be? I thought. I’d never found a whole sand dollar before. The only one I had was a gift from a shop owner in Oregon when I was there on my 19th birthday.

Reaching down I dug it out, only to realize it was just a piece. I sighed, about to toss it back.

And then I realized–I like the pieces. The fragments, the shattered bits. They’re not less meaningful to me. I thought about the journey this fragment had taken, the rocks it had broken against, the waves that had tossed it around.

I feel a little like that sometimes too. Bruised, cracked, beaten. Like the current of life yanks me around, tossing me from one thing to the next until I lose pieces of myself.

But there’s a beauty in the brokenness, a spirit to the fragmented, character in the imperfection.

And one day someone comes along and picks you up because they love you for your brokenness.

It’s life. Broken and messy and so imperfect.

And beautiful. So very beautiful.

Florida!

Florida was fabulous. I’ve never been to such a tropical-feeling place. Here’s a sample of what I saw there.

Some gorgeous bay views (and thankfully no alligators!).
FL waters

Colorful sunsets off a boardwalk.
FL waters 2

Although bugs feasted on my flesh while I climbed up on a bench to snap this one, I kinda feel like it was worth it.
sunset1-1

And after several days of working, there was a trip to a beach on a freakishly windy, rainy, typhoon-type day. (Well, I was hoping for an empty beach. Got my wish there! More about that experience on Tuesday.) But thankfully, the next day sported only a few clouds and I got my sunny day at the beach.
windy beach 2

And a kinda groovy downtown there in Tampa. Who doesn’t love a pair of palm trees gracing a cool building?
downtown b&w
All in all, not a bad trip. Florida has a lot to offer. (But next time, I’m bringing bug spray.)