If you spend anytime on the beach, you spend time combing the shores for little treasures. Conch shells, sand dollars, and still in tact bi-valves are always fun to come across. But the real treasure lies in finding the sharks teeth along the shores. They are like tiny little treasures from the sea just waiting for your magical eyes to find them.
Shark teeth seekers are easy to spot on any beach - a slow meander while hunched over looking at the ground, occasionally flicking things around and letting the rubble fall away. There is an apparent gift in combing for shark teeth that I have yet to master. I have tried all summer to find one and have yet to be successful. But there are some that come by this gift naturally, as if the Universe donned this gift only to them - the special ones.
Each morning I stop off at a little cove in Charleston called Sunrise Park. It's got gorgeous views and is a great place to start my busy day. As I was combing the beach this morning, I kept discarding piles and piles of shells. I sat, hunched over, sifting through the sand handful by handful, looking for the tiniest teeth out there. It was a hugely unsuccessful effort. Discouraged, I gave up.
As I sat there watching the sun come up, I got ready to gather my things. I looked down at the discarded pile of rubble when I noticed something. No...not shark teeth. But in the rubble were a million little shells - broken, crumbled, and beautiful. Shells I had never noticed here before. Little lettered olives. Tiny bi-valves. Itty bitty channeled whelks. And tiny banded tulip shells. All there right in front of me. All discarded because I was so fixated on finding something I thought I wanted...I thought I needed.
I got to thinking, maybe this is true for life. Maybe we are so fixated on the thing we are looking for that more often than not, we are discarding other beautiful opportunities that are right in front of us just waiting to be seen. We walk through our days so concerned with the one thing we don't have that we don't see all the other small things right there in plain sight.
Photography is all about seeing things. It's about waiting for the right moment, the right light, the right angle and they right timing to see what you came looking for. And sometimes in the course of this, you end up getting something totally different but equally as amazing. Like an unexpected gift in the sand, you always get something great. You just have to be open to all the possibilities.
I may not have the gift of the Shark Teeth Seekers. But that's okay. For now, I will sit back on the shore and admire them from afar. I have other gifts. I can see things they don't even know are there.
Gifts that are right there...in plain sight.