Natural Sponges are a Gift from the Sea

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One of my favorite places to visit is the Sponge Docks in Tarpon Springs, Florida. Often we go there just for the food. We love to order lamb at a Greek restaurant and get dessert afterward at one of their delightful and scrumptious bakeries. We also like the ambiance of the shops and the sound of sea water slapping the bobbing boats. Mixed with the smells of florals and food is the hint of sea salt in the air.

If you’re game, you can go out on a sponge boat and watch them bring up a net full, or you can stroll down the sidewalk and choose a sponge from the many varieties and sizes available. The most popular sponge is the natural yellow (shown above). This type is firm and “very absorbent with a dense cell structure that facilitates exfoliation while bathing and showering.” They are also durable and long lasting.

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Then there is the “premium wool” sponge that is the softest, most reliable and absorbent sponge available. Premium wool sponges are firm and close packed. The natural “sea grass” sponge is less expensive and normally used in cleaning or in arts and crafts work, such as faux, etc..

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People should be more like sponges:

  • Dependable. Just as a sponge soaks up the water and moisture around it, we should thirst for knowledge and absorb the good things of the earth that have already been discovered and written about. It’s alarming that many people in our nation and around the world do not read. They are trapped by ignorance and afraid to wander far from their birthplace. Most have never read the Bible and remain in spiritual darkness.

    There are those who lack the faith or even a belief in God and refuse to study His word. Yet the evidences from eye-witnesses and historians from the past have documented and testified of God’s existence and His life upon the earth in the person of Jesus Christ.

    What if scholars and curious minds had refused to read Newton’s words or to benefit from Pasteur’s discoveries and Plato’s wisdom, would we have had the building blocks and the foundation to build civilizations, produce products, and benefit from the conveniences and inventions that we enjoy today? Why then do some people avoid the benefits of God’s perfect wisdom and treat His word and His wisdom with such contempt and disregard?

  • Enduring. Sponges are useful. They have a function, and they are efficient. They have a purpose in life. They were meant to assist and to serve. They perform that service just by being themselves. They are well-designed and last a long time. They’re not quitters. We can learn something from them about being content with who we are. Like a sponge, we can make ourselves useful to others and to society. We can outlast our grievances. We can creatively change our state of mind to conform to changing circumstances. We can soak up knowledge and share it with others.
  • Purposeful. Sponges know how to “get down and dirty.” They’re not opposed to hard work and their compositional make-up never tires. They have what it takes when the going gets rough. They’re not wimpy. They are tough.

    We should keep our own minds open and porous to receive ideas and information. We can become tireless advocates for truth and right. We can be purveyors of good will and, when necessary, sop up the sorrow and pain of others through assistance and a listening ear. We can soothe the wounded soul and washout the heartache of neglect and ignorance. We can soak up hurts and bathe the broken hearted with our own tears. We can learn a lot from the sponge.

"Broken" mixed media on canvas; SOLD, but prints available.

“Broken” mixed media on canvas; SOLD, but prints available.

If you would like to learn more about sponges, go to:

Gulf Coast Sponges

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