Yes. This is a plate of stones. Pebbles I picked up today on the beach and stuffed in the pockets of my jeans until I ran out of room. I then threw a few more in my purse, just for good measure.
You see, today was an unusual day for me, for any number of reasons. One, it was early March and beautiful - sunny, mid-sixties, light breeze. Two, I found myself at the Jersey shore on this exceptionally beautiful day. Three, (maybe most importantly) I was not at work.
And lastly? I didn't have a single MS symptom. All. Day. I walked for over two hours, in the sun, sand between my toes, sea breeze blowing, sea gulls crying....
It was so.... well, honestly? I don't have a word for it.
Because seriously? I'm pretty damn sure that if I could tap in to that sort of vibe on a regular basis? My MS symptoms would decrease ten-fold. Fuck. Make it a hundred-fold. I need to move to the shore. I'm not even particular on which one really. Sand? check. Surf? check. Okay, I'm there.
(I guess a job and a place to live would help too, but these are just minor details.)
I know the NMSS has means to help people living with MS survive the bills and crazy costs that can come along with this illness, but I don't think I am selling them on a shore house as a preventative to my flare-ups. Maybe a shore house that houses multiple people with MS? Maybe we can all benefit? You know, if we don't kill each other in all our group-craziness?
(that's a form of synergy they never really warn you about in those group workshop things. just fyi.)
But back to my stones. I truly would have been that crazy person, out on the beach, walking along where the waves came in - careful not to get my jeans wet - in a near constant crouch, looking at the sand like it was littered with gold, for hours, had my husband not, after a certain well-advised period of humoring me, drug me back to the boardwalk.
You see, I was walking along today, and this little, perfectly smooth, beautifully well worn, pebble caught my eye. I stopped to pick it up. Marveled at how smooth it felt in my hand. Held it up to the sun to check out the flecks of minerals that had been polished to a shine. I showed it to my husband..... his response? "Yeah, they're all over, so what?"
(okay, that might not have been his exact response... and I'm sure he didn't mean it to sound dismissive... I mean, how could he have known that one pebble was going to mean he had to humor his crazy wife for over an hour as she examined a good half mile worth of beach?)
But here's the "why?": MS, like many things in life.... and even life in general.... strikes without warning. You never know what it's throwing at you.... or which way it might be throwing you. It's easy to get caught up in the waves and be tossed ass-over-tea-kettle before you even realize what's happening. But isn't that the same thing the produced this amazing little beautiful pebble?
You see, the constant tossing of the waves.... the disruption and confusion.... it polished out the rough spots.... smoothed over the flaws.... and produced something more compact, more beautiful, more resilient.
Yes, I realize I may be reading too much in to a few pebbles. But really? They're beautiful. Each in their own way. And as I continue to get tossed in the waves of MS? I want to remember that this constant state of motion.... while it might seem like chaos? While it might seem disruptive and damaging? It's smoothing over my rough spots. Making me more beautiful than I already was. Polishing me.... so that I might sparkle in the light.
(I wish I was here.)