“Focus,focus,focus. Be here. Appreciate this moment,” the yoga teacher instructed. Just then, a young porpoise appeared, breached, and played in the water very near the beach where 107 participants rejoiced at Portia’s (my name for her) appearance. We appreciated Portia joining our class. Portia joined our pod for a few minutes as she does many mornings. I think Portia wants to be a part of us gathering sunshine on our plate.
Gathering sunshine on my plate is a buffet of life experiences. For example, I smile incessantly and uncontrollably every time I walk along the coastline and see the shell treasures. The sea delivers these gifts to all who walk by. The shells are magnets. I cannot help to bend over and collect just one more. I marvel at their contour, pastel colors, and distinct shapes. I am sensitive to their smoothness or roughness. I often will pick up one that has been broken yet shaped by the constant sifting and pulling of the waves. Today I picked up a colorful and smooth rectangle. I included it in my collection because it reminds me that sometimes even when I am broken, I can be smoothed and refined by God’s loving touch. I appreciate each shell for the life it has led, the hardship it has known, or the long way it has traveled.
On the shore, the shells are so plentiful that a passerby might not realize how each one is special. The clams discard their homes and leave perfectly shaped fans. Tiny whelks are ornate on the outside and smooth and beautiful on the inside. Large whelks allow me to hear the sea long after I have departed. These shells become my plate of sunshine for this day.
Sometimes my plate is filled with fulfillment as I reach out to a child who is in need of a hug or a smile. Another time I give a meal to a disabled neighbor. Many times it is just a peck on the cheek for my husband when he feels unmotivated because of his stiff back. My purpose this day is to make them feel special, wanted, and encouraged.
Giving to others is my shell treasures to them. I see the look on their faces and that is my treasure. This small gesture puts sunshine on their plate. The sea teaches me to give freely and produce constantly. These are the things that create my plate of sunshine.
As I awaken and read the scriptures, I am so filled with joy that God has offered me such treasures in His promises, His parables, and His recorded words. These words fill my plate with sunshine and begin my day. Whether it is Portia, sea walks, or God’s word, I can fill my plate each day. I must find these treasures, see them, feel them, and search. “Focus, focus, focus.” Only then can I know His light and creation.