Thursday, October 23, 2014
There are things in life that irritate me. Often, they're not huge, earth-shattering situations, rather just small, constant, wearing irritations. And it's the small, constant, wearing irritations that bring people to their breaking point.
Last week, I was irritated past the point of reason and was on the verge of becoming unreasonable. I wanted to throw a temper tantrum and make sure that everyone around me knew of my displeasure. Instead, I sat there and stewed (getting more irritated by the minute). While I silently fumed, my fingers brushed the pearls that encircled my neck. As I fingered the satiny smooth pearls and wondered at their magnificence, I realized that they owed their precious beauty to a tiny, almost imperceptible irritation.
I unclasped the necklace and held the pearls in my hands. A tiny grain of sand, a parasite or even a sliver of shell had deposited itself in the innermost part of each oyster that had produced these pearls. Normally, the oyster would have spit the invader out, but for each one of these beautiful pearls, that had proven impossible. As a result, the sand had rubbed the inside of each oyster and the oysters had responded by coating the sand in a lustrous coating, soothing itself while transforming the irritant. Month after month, in the unseen darkness of the oyster's secret places, that grain of sand, that constant irritant, produced a glorious gem of untold worth. What each oyster would have rejected as unwanted - irritating, had, in reality, produced in it something far more valuable than itself.
I am guilty. I often resent struggles and irritations. I try to avoid them rather than allow them to change me, to polish me.
As I gazed at my Great-Grandmother's pearls, I realized that I wanted my life to produce pearls of great worth, even if that meant embracing the irritants that life always seems bring in abundance.