Every day, in every way that I conduct my moments of my life, I am learning.  In this moment, right now, I am already a different person than I was yesterday, different than I was this morning, even from dinnertime two hours ago.


For in each moment………this one…….


and this one…………………


and in this one as well, there is change happening, and lessons being put forth for us.


There are times when we don’t see the lessons in front of us.  They may be there, bold as brass, but we don’t yet have the sight to be aware.  Maybe for us, it isn’t that time for the lesson.  Maybe, it hurts too much to acknowledge the need to learn it.  Maybe, just maybe, and probably very likely, fear is at the root of all of those lessons that we don’t believe that we are quite ready for.


For the past several days, I have been acutely aware of big lessons coming my way.  There has been a series of circumstances in my life for the last week; none of them tragic or devastating by definition, but possibly life changing in terms of the decisions that I am faced with as a result.


And, at the time of these lessons coming to light initially, I thought that I MIGHT be ready to face them head on, but today, in this moment, I KNOW that I am ready.


So, I have begun to sift, sift through the sands of my life, the particles that need to be left behind, and the larger, bigger aspects that need to be carried along in my pockets.


I am reminded of playing on the beach, as an older child, when we finally made it to the ocean, and as a parent of a child, and using a sifter on the beach, to sift through the beach sand as we built castles or waited for the waves to brush us on the shore.  That sifter would let all of the driest, smallest grains of sand fall through, and leave behind any treasures that were buried on the beach.  A perfect shell.  A little creature.  A piece of sea glass.


The pieces that we leave behind, those small grains that are all along the shores of our lives, they don’t just go away as we sift through them; they return to the earth, return to the Universe, to serve a purpose for someone else that will walk this same beach path after us, or with us.  Those grains of sands stick to our feet, they wash out into the sea, and they come back again.  They are perpetually around, but we are okay without carrying them with us.  Yet, the memory of those grains stays with us forever, because we did sift through and decide what we still needed with us, and what we could leave behind.


The lessons along the way, the people that I meet, the friends that I encounter, they all become part of my full story.  Even if we lose touch, if we go into different directions, they are part of me, one of my lessons, part of my story, as I am part of theirs.  I am not the same person as I was when we first met, yet I am who I am, in part because of them.  And, for that I have eternal gratitude. 

And, those lives that have touched mine, those lessons that have found their way to me, those grains of sand, may no longer be on my path, or may have washed away from the shore, but the presence,


and presents,


that they brought to my life will remain forever with me.


10 thoughts on “Sifting

  1. I am just getting to a place in my life where I realize that everything that happens is probably presenting itself to me as some greater lesson. And it’s been such a hard thing to learn! But in learning in, I’ve been able to look at things more clearly, and that’s always a good thing.

  2. Beautiful metaphor and it reminds me that we can always find faith in nature. I once wrote this sitting on a deserted beach in Australia:

    These shells have been here longer than me, still I seach for answers somewhere else…

    Sift well dear,


  3. Leah: As I am aging, the lessons that are meant for me are deeper and deeper; and that impact that they have on me is becoming more significant. The more that I learn about others, the more that I realize the fact that I am really the one with the ability to change my life……..

    Helen: I love that; and so much truth in that saying. Nature brings me back to basics all the time; and beaches, sand, shells…..I am so connected to them in such a deep way. Thanks for sharing your words. Vanessa

  4. “I am a part of everything I meet.” I can’t for the life of me remember who said this or where I saw it (and if it’s from the Bible, I’m really embarrassed to have forgotten). And conversely, I think everything I experience can become a part of me — the positive stuff anyway. I don’t like to add any negative stuff if I can help it. I’m really so glad I found your blog Vanessa. I love the passion and density (meaning lots of ideas and layers) of your posts. Thanks.

  5. I love that quote, and how appropriate and true it is!!! yes, we are all vessels of interconnection; Ubuntu, I am because you are. Not just as humans, but all things living, we are a part of all that exists, and it is a part of us.

    My density seems to be getting more complex as time goes on; either that, or the layers are coming more into my acute awareness. It fascinates and energizes me! I am so glad to have met you as well!!! V.

  6. As I was reading this 2 things happened: I noticed I was holding my breath and tears started to drop. I have “sifted” a lot lately and have become aware of lessons too but reading this helped put a few more pieces into place.
    I am forever grateful


  7. J:

    Your comment lead me back to read this one again…….it was one of the most powerful posts for me in a long time, because it was the most clear way for me to describe the absence of a person in my life, while the lessons lingered on…..

    I am so glad it was helpful to you. I wish you peace and a light spirit; I believe that your time is NOW!!!

  8. It was one of the most powerful posts for me to read in a very very long time and it is still in my mind.

    I know the person will always be a part of your life but more importantly someone else will sift a small grain of sand that means purpose for you.

    I feel that my time is now!

    I leave you with love, peace and happiness.

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