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the treasure inside

Walking along the beach one day, I noticed a tidal cave. Feeling adventurous, I began exploring the cave. At the very back of the cavern, on a high shelf, above the waterline, I happened upon a heavy canvas sack. Pulling down the sack, imaging the riches inside, stashed against discovery, I was nonplussed to find the bag filled with clods of dirt. Intrigued, I took the bag and returned to the beach, all the more bright from my time underground. Reexamining the contents, I discovered that the clods were actually clay balls, each about the size of a baseball.

As I continued my stroll, I would reach into the bag every few steps and, as I might with a skipping stone, I hurled the clay ball out into the surf as far as I could. The simple joy of hurling dirt amused me for a time. As I was preparing to hurl another of the spheres, it slipped out of my hand and crumbled on a rock at my feet. I reached down to see if there was a chunk large enough to throw. As I picked through the remains, a glitter caught my eye. Brushing the clay dust away, I found myself staring at a sparkling green stone. Could it be an emerald? Someone had hidden away a treasure, not only inside a cave and buried in a plain bag, but also encased it under layers of the plainest earth – for all to see only a clod of dirt.

I quickly emptied the dozen or so balls left in the bag onto the sand and began breaking them open. Within a few minutes, I was sitting in awe of a bakers doze of the most beautiful stones I had ever seen – green, red, clear, violet, blue, yellow, and some with specks – winking and sparkling up at me from the sand.

As I marveled over the treasure I had found, my thoughts stretched back over the past hour and my stroll, every few steps hurling one of these treasures into the surf. Thankful though I was for my fortune, I was amused to the point of laughter at some future visitor to the beach that has a beautiful gem, having had its outer crust washed away, land in their path. Glancing back along my path and out to sea, I chuckle again as I gather up my treasures and head for home.

This metaphor can be applied to many aspects of our lives: each person has a hidden treasure inside if we only look inward to discover it, every day holds a secret treasure if you are willing to take the chance and see, etc. I think that the most important lesson is to take a moment and notice the wonder that is right in front of you and that has been with you the whole way and be grateful for it. Take note of things that might have gone differently, but do not bemoan what could have been, instead gain the wisdom that experience affords and be thankful.

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