When my girls and I need a break from the grind of everyday life, we head to my sister’s home on the Oregon Coast. Her easy laugh, welcoming arms, and unconditional love encourages stress to melt away and thoughts to become uncluttered. It has become a place of healing and comfort and we cherish the time we spend with her. One of our most favorite activities is to go to the beach and search for treasures. Our recent three generational Girls Road Trip brought my youngest daughter and her daughter and me to southern Oregon when the weather was beautiful and mild and we took every opportunity to spend time at the beach looking for agates. With the sun on our backs and the sound of the surf soothing away the noise of the world, we would pick a spot and slowly and methodically begin our search.

My sister has become very proficient at spotting the various colors and internal forms that set apart these gem stones and was finding them everywhere when all we could see were regular, albeit sometimes beautiful, beach rocks.  So she would sit beside us and point to a specific section and tell us that there was an agate (or two) in plain sight to help us train our eyes to see them. Once we did that, finding them was much easier.

There is an agate in this picture. Can you find it? As you search, because you are really looking, you will see the different variations, textures, and shapes and if you’ve ever seen a polished rock, you can imagine the beauty of some of them smooth and shiny…instead of just a bunch of ugly gray beach rocks.

Sometimes, we have to really look in order to see, and what we have chosen to train our eyes to see, matters. Life and relationships are much easier when we can see the beauty in those around us, even if we are unpolished.

Hint: If you divide the picture in vertical thirds, the agate is in the middle section. Towards the bottom of the middle section, just inside the right dividing line, is a roundish dark gray rock with a white swirl on top. Directly up from that rock about an inch, is the agate. It is a dark bluish gray cloud agate and has a bit of shine to it.