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.