On the ocean’s floor, nestled against a rock, in a cluster of seaweed and grey barnacled companions, an oyster filters the life-giving currents for nourishment. In its hunger, it opens its shell to expose its sensitive inner nature to the sea. A tiny grain of sand finds its way inside the oyster’s shell and settles into a private place where it lodges and festers.
The sand is not comfortable. To the contrary, the private place where it sticks, is next to the oyster’s heart where it is most sensitive. Yet in that spot, it’s as if the tiny nuisance belongs. Just as the oyster’s mantle protects it from the external dangers, a smooth, gentle layer of protection begins to form around the tiny grain of irritation.
Magic happens. After time, the oyster covers only layer after layer of its own nacre. Each layer converts the grain of sand little by little, until in the end, what remains is smooth, lustrous, and beautiful. It is no longer a sore. It is a cultivated gem. And it is as much a part of the oyster as its very shell.
There can’t be anything more magical to me than the way you let me into your heart. I can’t help but think sometimes how I irritate you in little ways like that tiny grain of sand. Yet in your heart, it’s as if a tiny nuisance like me belongs. So I hope in my heart that your patience with me, the same patience that protects you from the frustrations of life, will one day transform me. I will be beautiful, I will shine for you, and I will be as much a part of you as your patience itself.
That’s why I chose for today, a veil of a thousand tiny beaded pearls. In my dreams, I’ve watched you part it a thousand times, to kiss me the first time as my husband. You might think the choice is strange. A white veil proclaiming the innocence of my love for you, or something thin and demure so that you can see me at my most beautiful on our wedding day… those things might seem more appropriate. I have my reasons for my veil of oyster tears.
The tears of an oyster are not tears of pain. They are the beauty of patience, symbols of kindness, and of love, and of tolerance. My pearls are a beautiful reminder that you are those things to me. They hang before my face today waiting for you to finally part them for real. When you do, they will also remind me of one special thing: that from a whole ocean floor of irritating little grains of sand, you picked me to be your pearl.
© 2012 Anne Schilde