I was reading old Rhonda Byne’s The Secret (been in my “to-devour” pile since I came across it at Gold Coast Airport back in 20-10) when I turned into a chapter about gratitude.
“I took a rock I found when out for a walk and deemed it my gratitude rock,” the legend behind Chicken Soup for the Soul spilled. “I kept it in my pocket and everytime I came across it I would clench it in my hand and think of something I was grateful for.”
What a swell idea! I enthused. Truly tremendous! I decided to adopt this stellar act for myself, except what with being away at the beach, I would modify his rock use to be that of a shell. And no matter that I seldomly wear clothing with pockets; surely tucking it into the waistband of your active wear would work in the same way? More so in fact! Everytime the edge of the shell juts into your hips you get the, Oh fuck OUCH! Mother…. I mean; I am grateful for the ability to feel.
I plodded down to the sandy shores and after a fair while inspecting that on offer, I selected a pearly white shell with an air of fragility about it (similar to myself having not let loose with Holiday Skin mixed with Sugar Baby as per previous summers, as well as my rather ridicuolous amount of sensitivity at current) (getting these ocean puns? Sorry, I just have to let rip).
Into the waistband of my Nike shorts it went.
Throughout the day I came across it a few times. Hand brushed across it when I went for an itch on my back, elbow knocked it when reaching forward for some object, it slipping out when I went to empty out the bladder (a fair few amount of times in this instance as well; having it a must-do to chug back 3 to 4 litres of H20 on the daily means T trips – or grass squats – err on the number of very up there. And it only almost fell in the toilet the one time; luckily for once my reflex outsmarted it and a deft manouvere saved it from the bowl).
And everytime I did come across it, it was grate (sorry, had to happen). I thought of how lucky I am to have been born into the family I was. To have an able body to be able to run, swim, hear, see. To have parents who support me any which way, who answer their phone when I call them in an irrational panic, who gave me fab birthday parties as a kid and brought me up to know right from wrong. To have all the opportunities I do, to have had the blessing of education. For my amazing friends, my much-loved dogs, the brothers M&J.
I’ll say it; I felt like I was emitting a glow from all the subsequent feel good. Life is actually pretty fucking fantastic, I thought as I was enveloped in a warmth of thankfulness. I could see how fortunate I am, how lucky I’ve been throughout my 24 years, and I was brimming with gratitude.
On our evening walk throughout the rues of Whangamata, I took the shell from my shorts and showed my friend Ashleigh. “See?” I said, being all deep, soulful and spiritual. “And everytime I hold it I just give thanks.”
I was admiring my sea grown shelly fellow, moving it between my fingers. “I’m going to keep it with me all day, every day,” I declared. “And I’ll always remember….”
My vow was cut short by a crunch. In my determined enthusiasm my grasp had turned into a stronghold and I had severely severed the shell into smithereens. (I hope this twasn’t a sign I too about to crack – surely the meltdowns of late are rock bottom enough?).
Ash was beside herself laughing. “Golden!” She said. “That couldn’t have happened any better at all! That was hilarious!”
And it was funny. I must say, I felt like quite the knobhead. After a flirting thought that maybe I could capture the particles in some sort of casement and tie it to a strong around my neck, I tossed the idea out with the fragments.
This morning when we went to do sunrise yoga on the beach I spent a time searching for a newby. This time I tested for strength, endurance and comfortability.
I ended up with a rock. And my first grateful thought?
I’m thankful for the option to be able to start afresh and be given a second chance.