Monday, September 25, 2006

The Rock and the Grain of Sand

Long ago and far away, there lived a grain of sand, small and insignificant. When the sun hit her just right she was beautiful beyond belief in the brilliance of the light she reflected. One day the grain encountered a rock, sturdy, rugged and tough, the very things a young grain of sand dreams of.

Though she was very young and her family and friends had doubts, she had none and invested everything she had in the rock she had come to love. And though his family was dismayed by her insignificance and youth, he gave everything he had for that grain of sand.

The rock and the grain of sand struggled to make a life together, and as suspected by all their friends and family, it was very difficult, for the rock was rough and she was small and not very sturdy. In fact her very presence was sometimes a great irritant, and he would toss her into the waves to “toughen up” like himself.

His toughness soon felt like roughness, and she battered against it, trying to get the roughness out of him. Day after day as he tossed her into the sea, she came up against a creature who also found her an irritant, but instead of resenting her presence, merely coated her with a layer of love and protection and sent her on her way, back to her rough rock. As her rough rock would ride the waves of the sea, he encountered the same creature, but that creature was to him nothing but a hard battering shell, which over time began to remove bits of his hard exterior. He was being beaten, and she was being smothered, but each had no idea what was happening to the other, for he spoke of the creature as a tormentor, while she spoke of the creature as a gentle protector.

As her friends saw her being thrown daily into the rough seas, they begged her to leave the rock, fearing that she would be lost forever, but she had given all she had for the rock, and even though she detested the rough seas and being thrown about, she would not give up her investment and some days caught a glimmer of something else, the thing she had imagined beneath her rock’s rough exterior.

Years passed, and sometimes the tide picked them both up and carried them away, but always to his battering creature and she to her protector. Her rock never realized that it was the same wave carrying them both, but began to see the sea as a tormentor out to get him and he would curse the waves. She rode the same rough seas, but since they always carried her to her guardian and protector, she grew calmer over time, and did not fight the sea.

More time passed, days, weeks, months, years and ages. One day she looked at him and realized that he was a diamond, slowly being revealed from within his rocky shell. She loved him all the more for it, and realized she had made a wise investment. He, on the other hand, began to see what she had become—a pearl. Not just any pearl, but a pearl of such luminescence and beauty that she would take his breath away. Neither knew what they had become, so each felt unworthy of the other and completely awed by the brilliance and beauty of their investment.

And though she sometimes realized that some of her rough spots were gone, she never fully realized what the creature had done for her, but instead thanked the creature for the protection he had given her in the midst of the waves.

Her rock could not see what the creature had done for him, as he did not see what was being revealed, and was resentful of the sea and the battering he took against the creatures shell.

Years passed. An age and a day went by. On that day the sea was still, as happens once an age and a day. On that day, they went to the water’s edge and caught a glimpse of their reflections. At first he had eyes only for her and she for him, marveling at the beauty of the other, but soon each caught a glimpse of themselves. Who is that? each of them wondered, before recognizing the reflection as being their own. At that moment, the waves pulled back to reveal the creature responsible for their transformation.

“There’s my friend!” she exclaimed as he shouted, “That’s him! He’s the one who has been beating me up.” And the truth began to dawn in each of them that the creature had turned them into objects of great beauty and had made them worthy of the great investment of the other. And at that moment, each of them realized that some time ago, more than an age, but less than an eon, their friends and family had quit telling them that they had made a bad investment, and turned to thank the creature, but he was covered by a wave which came to take them to him, and there they live to this day.

1 comment:

Beth said...

Beautiful. And yes, you are a pearl of great price and great beauty. And I am coming to recognize the great worth of your diamond as well :-)