I asked my aunt for a safe place to put these treasures. I carefully placed them in the bag she indicated. When I returned a few hours later, the delicate pink shell was in five pieces. Someone had not been so careful, I'm guessing had carelessly flung the bag to the ground. I still brought it with me, as the pieces fit perfectly together and I thought I could glue them back together. When we returned to the place we were spending the night, only two of the five pieces remained intact, the rest having crumbled further. I brought these two pieces with me on the plane today -- if I couldn't enjoy the once-perfect architecture of this shell, I could at least still admire the beauty of its pallette. I got home and inspected what remained of my treasure: dust and several little pieces of broken shell. At least my sand dollar was intact, though.
As I carried the sand dollar out of my bag to show to my mom, I tripped on something. The sand dollar slipped out of my hands and fell to the floor. I winced as it shattered into a million pieces.
I am curiously hurt and sad at my failure to preserve these treasures. I don't normally feel so attached to objects like these, but they were of such exquisite beauty and refinement. I know full well that some animal gave its life for these treasures to be found. And I was awed that such delicate pieces of God's handiwork survived the battering of waves and washed up on shore unmarred. I wish I had at least taken pictures, to preserve some semblance of the colors and form. But all that is left now is a dim memory of such beauty and grace and the knowledge of how easily clumsy man can destroy the fragile gifts God grants us through nature.