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The Gift of Imperfection*

Updated: Nov 15, 2022

This past September, I was lucky enough to spend a week in Chincoteague, VA. Recovering from the stress of the last several years, I spent time walking the beach with my husband, Steve.

As many of you know, the sound, smell and sight of the ocean has amazing healing properties, and I could feel my it seeping into my soul.

As I walked the beech I was drawn to the many whelk shells we found on the high-tide line. I was fascinated by their shape which had been sculpted my wave, wind and water. It reminded me of an old friend, Dan Shenk, who used to go to the beach and look for "interesting shells" rather than those that appeared perfect. He enjoyed their unique shape and form.

So here's to Dan Shenk who first taught me the gift of imperfection.

The Gift of Imperfection

I am the gift of imperfection, sculpted by wind and water, touched by life
You make seek those with a perfect form.
But know that even though parts of me have been worn away
My wholeness and beauty lie not in the perfection of form
But can be found on the wind and in the water.
For just as I have been touched by life, so has life been touched by me.

Over the course of our time at Chincoteague, Steve and I gathered a plethora of whelk shells. On our last day, we went to the beach released them back into nature with the hope that others might enjoy their presence.

I hope that you, too, appreciate how you have been sculpted by life.

With metta,


*Many thanks to Brené Brown for the beautiful title.


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