When Crystal Shatters

I found this sketch while reading through an old journal of mine … 


It happens when they are unpacking, all the china treasures carefully unwrapped from paper cocoons and set lovingly on high shelves. The littlest one finds the crystal bowl, generations old, the beloved heirloom of Mother’s family. Her eyes widen as she catches a sparkle from inside the nest of bubble wrap. But tiny fingers aren’t meant to carry such weight, and she feels it slipping. Suddenly it breaks free of the straining grip, and it hits the grounds, shattering into a thousand pieces across the new floor.

They all freeze, hearing again the sickening crash, replaying in slow motion its fatal fall. They are all braced for the storm of grief and frustration inevitably forthcoming from Mother, as the reality of the loss sinks in. Some of them clench their hands and turn away, eyes closed, unable to witness the once-lovely.

But they miss it.

They miss the clouds outside parting and a solitary shaft of golden glory falling through the window onto the mess. They miss the transformation as the fragments become gemstones, as the jagged glass becomes diamonds with hearts of fire. They miss the shards illuminated from above, capturing the music of the heavens in their now-shining shells.

Mother and the child, the ones who kept their eyes open, who dared to look the pain in the face, fall to their knees, bathed in the glow, marveling at the broken becoming beautiful. As their eyes see the glass, their hearts see the truth. The truth that when the cheap imitations shatter, although so painful at first, beauty is revealed, like the glimpse of starlight after the clouds are ripped back.

The closed-eyed ones don’t see, miss the moment, and when they do look, the light is gone, and all they know is the hurt of bleeding fingers and bleeding hearts. The shards are swept up and thrown away, along with the chance to see beyond mere mess. No healing without the honest handling of hurt.

Mother and the little one share a smile.


The observant reader may wonder whether this story impacted the naming of this blog, but it actually didn’t. I wrote it about a year-and-a-half ago, long before I considered starting a blog, and it was the furthest thing from my mind when I picked a name. I suppose this concept is something that’s been on my heart for a while. Have a lovely day! 

11 responses to “When Crystal Shatters”

  1. I love this Abby! Really reflective and pretty 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is so gorgeous, Abby. I love the concluding sentence–it’s so simple but it sums everything up perfectly. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Sarah. And I’m glad you liked that sentence—it wasn’t in the original, and I wasn’t sure if it would “work.” =)

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh yeah, it totally does. It’s so innocent and pure and feelsy. =)

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Victoria NightSky Avatar
    Victoria NightSky

    Ohhh it’s so lovely. ❤ Ir reminds me somewhat of my poem "Kintsugi," although it's not quite the same thing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, it is very like that! *grins* Great minds think alike, I suppose. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Judith L. Livingstone Avatar
    Judith L. Livingstone

    Dearest Abby,

    This is beautiful. Thank you so much.

    All my love,


    Liked by 1 person

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