A Pearl of Great Price
I found this on a shelf I was dusting. It was my first "contemplative souvenir". I remember distinctly the day I found this oyster shell on the beach. The friend I was with said I should see if I could have the pearl, quite a large one, removed and put on a necklace. But I wouldn't hear of it. I wanted to keep it as it was.
It is amazing that an oyster, so rough and encrusted on the outside, can produce a lovely and luminous pearl. It takes a great deal of time as it covers the tiny bit of irritating sand with a coating we covet. Natural pearls, like this one, are very rare to find in New England and I knew I had a special thing.
I look at it now and again and it makes me realize that we all have this pearl of great price inside us...even the crusty, unlikeable ones. It is something I need to remind myself of from time to time. I'm so glad I didn't remove it...
Contentment is a pearl of great price, and whoever procures it at the expense of ten thousand desires makes a wise and a happy purchase.
- John Balguy