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Ellé Bell Café

A Coffee & Gift Shop

111 W. Main St., Union SC

Journal

Journal

The Pearl Harvester

Posted on December 29, 2011 at 5:00 PM

The rolling gravel slips under my shoes and I slide, skinning my leg. The jagged edges of the stony path are sharp and I see blood as it trickles and oozes from the muddy, tender place and drips contrasted on my white skin. Steep and winding is this treacherous path. It was one my mother warned me not to take but I wasn't paying attention and honestly it didn't seem to matter. Before I knew it I was here and I couldn't turn back.

 

From the distance I could hear her voice, and I listened for it, the beacon of light in the darkness which shone just enough so I could see the next step. I didn't always rely on it, then rolling into ditches lined with twisted vines that choked me, I was bitten by poisonous snakes. Marks and scars were laid out onto my body. My mind became stronger, my focus - intense. Tricks my mind played on me would have me slipping down the steep terrain, but again I would reach the top and even ground although it was one small step at a time.

 

Sometimes I would fall into deep areas where darkness would swallow me. Clamoring in the darkness, my cut and muddy fingertips felt something smooth and round. It calmed me. I placed it in the palm of my hand and stared at it intensely in the deep darkness. From my power and inner peace, it began to radiate a beautiful opalescent light that allowed me to see through the snare to find safety. My eyes were opened, I began to seek these pearls.

 

Most often they were there when I did not expect them to be there, when I was at my lowest. They were in front of my nose as I lay bleeding on the ground. On the edges of the broken glass and rocks that lined the steep path, I would see one. My calloused fingertips would find its smooth shape and I would hold it in my hand, feeling its warmth. And smile.

 

I collected them. Some were large, some small. Some brilliant, some brushed. But they were all so valuable to me. I found them in the darkest places of my life and because of these pearls I was learning to never be in those dark places again. I saved them, holding them close. "... I never want my children to be in this horrible place. I will save my pearls for them, and give them to each child - then they will not know how the wounds that left these scars would ever feel. I want to share these with all the people I love..."

 

My path now straight and smooth, sprinkled with fawn dust and dew, and white sandy wishes... my feet hardly touch the ground. And here I am.

 

Some of the pearls come out here, in this corner as I type, they roll around on the desk and spill out onto the screen. I cannot stop them just the same as I can't stop myself from crying when I feel this story seeping through my fingertips.

 

All my pearls have been saved in a secret place, deep inside my heart. I have them bound in a pouch, tied closed with a drawstring. As my children have grown from infancy to be the beautiful young adults they are, I have opened this pouch regularly, to show them what is inside. As children, I painted and illustrated each pearls meaning. Mesmerized, I placed it in the center of their little hands, closing their chubby, tiny fingers over it and then guiding their palm to their heart. My pearls will always remain in here, I would tell myself. My prayer for my children," Please hear the lessons in these pearls, I will suffer again to know my children suffering that horrible path. To be a pearl harvester is a hard life, please let my children find a better path. To grow and bask in the golden radiance of the sun and smell wild flowers all their days..."

 

The stories of these pearls were saved and cherished, some were discarded, others played with on the school grounds. Some were bartered with, some passed along, others were hidden with the dust bunnies under tiny toddler beds.

 

My son has wanted to harvest pearls since he was young, teasing and questioning what was down that path. "Stay away from it, look, here is another path that smells of honeysuckle and is bright with golden sunshine." But no matter how hard my pleading, he stood on the edge of both paths pondering which way to go.

 

Pain would break my heart in two as my next child, my daughter, would sleep in the trees along the treacherous path. My love for her is unending. One day I reached up to hand her my most valuable and precious pearl, and in a blink she disappeared into the tree tops. I fell to my knees, and sobbed on the grass below that tree. When I turned to hold my son, he was gone. I could hear him sliding in the darkness on the gravel just beyond my reach.

 

I call to them, directing them just as my mother did. My heart aches to hold them up out of the mud, to kiss their wounds and apply love to heal them. But I have tread this path alone already, and now it is their path each must take. My pouch is empty, my pearls are gone. I have given them everything that I could, and now it is their turn to harvest their own pearls. May their paths be quick and light, especially my sons- because on this winding, steep and treacherous path, it is in his arms his unborn child rests.

 

Now it is up to my children to save their children, the next generation of pearl harvesters.

 

Remember, my son- till the end of time I am on your side.

 

Love always,

 

Mom

 

Categories: Pearls of Wisdom

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