A friend of mine was recently telling me about how she had just gone to see her boyfriend on the gulf coast.

IMG_7545On her trip home, she decided to visit a place of lifetimes past, only to find that it had become nothing but a beach of oyster shells. She explained that she had never seen anything like it before so parked her car on the street side and got out to get a closer look. While she told her story, she had this blank look on her face, not seeing me at all  while she revisited it in her mind. I could see the shock and awe in her eyes as she was describing what she saw, “you don’t understand, it really was jusIMG_7560t nothing but oyster shells all over the ground. I walked on them like I would walk on grass, rocks, or dirt but it was nothing but shells!”

She showed me the pictures, and while it was mildly interesting, I knew would never be nearly excited about it the way she was though I pretended to be. She said that she couldn’t help but to pick up a sackful of the oyster shells to bring them home. She wasn’t really sure what she would do with them at the time but she knew she could make some kind of unique artwork out of them.

I never gave her story any other thought until she called again after Valentine’s Day to update me. She had given her boyfriend one of the pairs of  mussel shells and arranged them on a small black canvas which she had titled ‘soul mates’  as a sort of present. She told me that while she was gathering the plentiful, white, oyster shells, she had found a few of these small mussel shells and grabbed a few of those just because they were different and appealed to her. She was shocked when she got home and washed them off that she had managed to pick up four shells that made two perfectly matched pairs to each other; both sides to the whole; soulmates. She said she thought it had to be rare to find not only one, but two matching pair so she decided to  made a small piece of artwork out of them; one for her and one for her boyfriend as a sort of Valentine’s Day present when she went to see him again.

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On her way back home, she started thinking about the shells and how beautiful they were and how amazing it had been to actually find two matching pair, so she decided to stop again and look for more.

There were still plenty of the regular oyster shells, which she did gather a bag full but as she picked up the oyster shells, she scoured the area for these mussel shells. Much to her dismay, she quickly began to notice that the odds of her finding these types of shells was actually very rare. The odds of her finding some that weren’t broken into tiny pieces was extremely rare. The odds of her finding an unbroken, matching pair was just dumb luck.

Once she returned home from her second trip, she called me to tell me the story about these shells (I couldn’t believe I was listening to a story about these shells again). She explained that even though she managed to find the same number of paired shells on both trips, on the second trip she knew she had found at least two because they were still attached when she found them.She explained that she picked up any of the mussel shells she spotted that were still in tact in hoping that she had more matching pairs; she did not.

On her first trip, she was in a hurry, just gave a quick walk through and picked up random shells. She hadn’t even thought about any of them matching. It was like I said, dumb luck, that she had found them in the first place.

On her second trip to ‘oyster beach’, she had taken her time, searching, longing to find these shells but only the two sure things were all she could find. While she was happy to find additional pairs, she had hoped to find many more. It was then that it hit her as to just how lucky, perhaps even blessed, to have found the original soulmate pairs to begin with.


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