Beautiful Broken Us

{by Michelle DeRusha of Graceful}

They sit on beach chairs, on beach towels rumpled and striped, legs splayed, faces to the sun. They sit while their kids splash and mold kingdoms out of cool damp sand. They sit amidst florescent pink and yellow pails and shovels, amidst half-eaten bags of Cheetos and uncapped bottles of Dr. Pepper. They sit with flesh wrinkled, saggy, taut, bronzed, fish-belly white. They sit and gesture and talk in French and English. And is that Portuguese perhaps?

I don’t often get the opportunity to observe the human masses. The airport is a good place for that, but more often I’m riding the moving walkways with exuberant kids or standing in line for McNuggets and fries. The mall is a fine place, too – settled onto a bench to watch shufflers and shoppers – but usually I’m leaning on the metal rail, gazing dizzy at the carousel as my kids spin beneath colored lights or sweeping frenzied past kiosks in search of the perfect birthday gift an hour before the party.

The beach is the perfect people-watching spot, and two months or so ago I did just that. I sat on a fabric chair low to the sand, book propped on my lap, sunhat pulled low on my brow, legs stretched across infinitesimal bits of coral, and I watched.

And as I watched an overwhelming sense of oneness, an inexplicable feeling of communion and connection spanning race, age, culture and background settled on my chest.

We are separate-connected, distant-close, many-one.

Moms call to kids, beckoning in words I can’t understand but in tone all too familiar. Children play side-by-side, content in ephemeral friendship if only for an hour. Teenagers giggle behind screens of blond, flat-ironed hair. Couples sit reading in quiet.

Our broken-beautiful oneness spools like a satin ribbon from sea to crystalline sea.

“Individually, we are one drop. Together, we are an ocean.” ~ Ryunosuke Satoro, Japanese poet

Michelle DeRusha writes at Graceful ::: Subscribe via RSS
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Story Editor~ Heather King ::: @HeatheroftheEO

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8 Comments to “Beautiful Broken Us”

  1. And this post? On @StoryBleed today? LOVELY –

  2. Thank you to @MichelleDeRusha for her beautiful words on @StoryBleed today –

  3. I'm delighted to be over @StoryBleed today, writing about beautiful and broken:

  4. RT @HeatheroftheEO @StoryBleed – // And thank you so much for having me!

  5. "Our broken-beautiful oneness spools like a satin ribbon from sea to crystalline sea." by @MichelleDeRusha