Are they all beautiful?

Shells from Tokerau Beach, Doubtless Bay, NZ
Dear Little Swans,
As I lay my feet on the warm soft sand of Tokerau beach, facing the waves rippling from Doubtless Bay unto the shore, I encompass in my whole field that sense of completeness and contentment.
For millennia, the water of the oceans have washed the stones and shells back and forth with each wave.  This long and never ending embrace is a gentle stroke on this bay and yet, a thorough work which has turned the hard layers into very fine sand.
I felt compelled to open sacred space and offer a ritual of gratitude to our Great Mother who holds each and every step that we take. As I knelt down on the sand, laying my palms flat on the ground, I felt my body relaxing into a surrender I often retain.
I dreamt of my mother last night and I was critical with her. I don’t remember the details of the dream but she was there doing something I had asked and she wasn’t doing it just right. It bothered me and I wanted to control her, take my trust away.
Dreams don’t lie. They are always an open book for the parts of ourselves that need integration and forgiveness.
It occurred to me this morning, as I lost my thoughts into the continuous coming and going of the waves, that forgiveness is a gift we receive for surrendering. It is not so much our job to forgive than to beg for forgiveness.
To ourselves.
As I bowed to Mother Earth this morning, coming in gratitude for all our relationships, I saw this truth: It is not until we forgive all of Motherhood that we can become fully content and complete. Maybe it is really only then that we take our place as a Wholy Mother.
This evening, as we went walking on the beach, the high tide had swallowed my offerings. At first, I felt a jolt of panic and a grab to these beautiful shells I had collected for my ritual. I went around looking for them – some fish bones, three beautiful orange scallop shells, two feathers, white flat shells, black and white conches, small black volcanic stones; each one offered in a prayer held in by a large circle of small round purple snail shells.
Little Swan, you had made a circle too, next to mine and you joined me in the search for our treasures. I found many of them back  and soon enough, the game of looking for shells took over. You started collecting each and every shell you encountered, running to me with a request for approval:
– look at this one Mummy, it’s so beautiful. Is it beautiful?
– Well, i don’t really look for these ones but you can collect them if you like.
– I really like them.
– That’s all that matters.
Was it beautiful? A simple white clam shell. There are thousands of those on the Tokerau Beach. Everywhere. How special is that for an offering?
And you added a couple handful of white clam shells to the collection of lost treasures I was trying to chase back.
At this moment, I realized that my offering had already been accepted and returned to the waters, to the Earth. I was simply grabbing to my shells that I had picked with such care, choosing the most special ones.
The wisdom came in your words, my little Swans. Aren’t they all beautiful?
Had I not bowed to Mother Earth in honouring of all our relationships?
I will take another look now at those white clams.
Thank you for your childlike wonder. No Grab. I love you.
Your Mother

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