Finding Something Half Rare on the Beach and Learning a Lesson

You know me. I love Michigan. I recently spent a long weekend up in Traverse City to attend my best friend’s wedding. Winter conspired in the woods, but the air was not so crisp as to keep me from the beach.

Along the pebbled shores of Lake Michigan, I kept my eyes peeled for a Petoskey Stone. They’re fossilized fragments of coral reef over 300 million years old. As a kid, I searched in vain and have never, ever found one. As a grown woman, I was more laid back, flinging stones as I walked and chatting with my daughter. And then there it was…at my feet.

Later on at the wedding, I boasted about what I’d found. The locals were incredulous. “They’re so rare on this beach.” I had to confess to them it wasn’t a very good specimen.

“Sounds like a half and half,” said the young blond woman at my table. I brightened. Yes, yes. That’s right.

That’s the way it is sometimes. We yearn for things. They appear. They’re never so perfect as we’d thought. But finding something rare, created during the ice age, who cares if it’s half perfect? It’s still astonishing. Not flawed. Not less than. Just half and half.

The stone sits on my desk. I roll it on my palm during conference calls. It reminds me–keep up the rigor, but always innovate. It’s never perfect. Just half and half.