The Conch Shell

Earlier this evening
as I sat amidst the kindness circle,
I noticed,
on the altar before us,
a small conch shell.
There was nothing special about it,
plain white,
no particular markings,
just a small conch shell.
During the sharing
and caring
tears falling
laughter booming,
I simply forgot about that shell.
But, as we rose together in silence
welcomed as friends into the quiet of the cloister,
I passed by that shell
and it beckoned to me,
it beckoned me to pick it up and put it to my ear –
so I did.
I am five years old
and I hear my mother’s voice,
“Can you hear it honey; can you hear the ocean inside of that shell?”
I am as amazed now as I was 45 years ago
that my answer to that question is a resounding

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