I had the opportunity to add Sunset Beach to my ‘Shore Tour’.  Located on the Delaware Bay, this beach was lovely–definitely one I would visit again. True to its name, the view of the sunset on this beach was breathtaking!  That afternoon, I sat burrowing my feet into the cool sand and taking in the beauty around me. I noticed a number of beachcombers patrolling the shoreline and knew they were searching for Cape May Diamonds. Having researched this local phenomenon before my trip, the plan was to try my hand at finding some for myself.

At first glance, these appear to be ordinary pebbles along the shores of Sunset Beach; however, these rocks are actually pieces of quartz crystals whose amazing journey begins 200 miles away in the Pennsylvania mountains. Quartz from these mountains fall into the Delaware River and, over the course of thousands of years, are battered, broken and polished by the water and rapids. After the rough and lengthy journey, they end up in the shallow, muddy Delaware Bay smooth and free of any sharp, jagged edges.  Tossed into a rock tumbler, with water and abrasive grit, they are polished to an even greater shine revealing beautiful, clear stones. Cut deeper, they sparkle and catch the light like ‘real’ diamonds.

I certainly have had moments where I, like these stones, was tossed about mercilessly by outside forces beyond my control; moments that sometimes seemed to have no end.  How easy it is to get entangled in the pain and aggravation of hard times and look at the circumstances as an unfair attack against me.  Thinking about the Cape May Diamonds and the resulting beauty that comes from all the battering, caused my perspective to shift.

What if instead, I looked at difficult situations in my life as opportunities for refinement; a necessary pounding and smoothing of rough edges I may not be aware of–to reshape me, make me kinder more compassionate towards others? Perhaps the promise of discovering a deeper, more authentic beauty within myself would make hardships more bearable.  But that only addresses the exterior.

As with the quartz stones, there is still more hidden within that can only be made visible after exposure to abrasive matter. Having gone through tough times that were followed by even tougher times, I can imagine what it might feel like inside a rock tumbler! What if the abrasive matter comes in the form of people and circumstances? And when at last life’s rock tumbler stops–and it does eventually stop–I emerge with a polish and transparency that draws others close, granting me the chance to share hard-earned lessons from the journey.

While this newfound clarity is lovely to behold, the light is not yet reflected in me.  It isn’t until this stone is cut, that the brilliant diamond I was always meant to be can be revealed.  This new way of looking at difficulties in life has taught me to retrain my focus and see the hardest of situations with fresh eyes; to understand that nothing we go through is ever in vain.

I know a few other ‘stones’ dear to my heart that have been battered by life for some time now–I look forward to the day when I see them sparkling and reflecting THE Light in this dark world.

6 Responses

  • Natalie Rios
    Oct 22, 2017

    Amazing mom, very well written❤️

    Natalie Rios Oct 22, 2017
  • Oct 22, 2017

    In tears ….

    Keep writing Lucy, the world needs to hear what God has placed inside of YOU. I know I needed to hear that… I’m a fellow stone being refined now for yearssssss. I appreciate how you said, “when it ends–and it will end” … I needed that too … sometimes it feels like it’s never going to end. Thank you .. May God continue to give u the courage to speak out and write your story. Amen. Love you.

    Emily Rodriguez Oct 22, 2017
  • In the Wilderness
    Oct 22, 2017

    My Dear Friend,
    How beautiful and so perfect. It is when you are not in a season any more that one is able to reflect with more clarity. When there is more transparency one is able to see through it so beautiful because the refreshing water carries those stones never abandoning it just taking it to where it needs to be. For an author to find, a child to see…

    In the Wilderness Oct 22, 2017
  • Clarissa Torres
    Oct 22, 2017

    Beautifully written! Thank you for sharing your voice. I love you <3

    Clarissa Torres Oct 22, 2017
  • Jasmine Alicea
    Oct 22, 2017

    Great perspective and as always beautifully written.

    Jasmine Alicea Oct 22, 2017
    Nov 15, 2017

    When my children were younger, going to the beach felt like a chore sometimes. Making sure you packed everything they needed, etc. Although I do have some wonderful memories with my family. No regrets will cherish them forever; However, I am happy that time has passed. Now that we are almost empty nesters I feel rather selfish when summer time rolls around. Summer is my favorite time of the year to relax, get away from it all, including taking trips to the beach to rest my body as well as my mind. I really Love this piece, not only was it pleasant to read, I could relate to the battered stones in my life too. I hope to see them shining bright like a diamond some day. Please keep this up the details and analogies you use are awesome. In the beginning of this piece I felt like i was on that beach holding those stones and the sand was between my toes. You have a gift for expressing scenery.

    Love u Sis,


    GLADYS CRUZ Nov 15, 2017

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