The Gift

While walking on the beach today I found an assortment of treasures consisting of the most beautiful sea shells and rocks.  Included in my treasures was what many shell collectors would consider “quite a find”.  It was an extraordinary larger shell, with no imperfections, with the inside wrapped in the shape of the essence of life – the Fibonacci spiral.

It was magnificent and I thanked the Universe for giving me such a gift. For you see, I have spent the last five mornings working on my next book and I thought, “I deserve this, I have been working diligently.” I picked up the beautiful shell and continued walking.  I then heard these words in my heart, “Give a shell away.”

I looked up and there was an elderly couple searching diligently for shells. My reaction was, “I know they will pick “my gift” and I don’t want to part with it.”  I kept on walking feeling just a bit guilty and selfish rationalizing in my mind, “Oh, they probably have a zillion shells.”

I continued to walk a short distance and I looked to my right and there was a little girl about four years old with a bucket.  I looked at her face and I was astonished to see that she looked like me when I was a child.  She said, “I am looking for sea shells.”  I scooted down to her level and I said, “me, too” and I opened my two hands to show her mine.

She was in awe of the treasures that I had found.  I said, “You can pick one if you want.”  I said, “I have one I want to keep but you can have any other one.” When I said those words I realized the one that I truly wanted to keep was not the perfect one but the one that personal value to me because it had been worn into the shape of a hawk – my power animal.

The little girl said, “I choose this one.”  She chose the perfect one with the Fibonacci spiral inside.  I said, “Ok, you can have that one.”  She yelled, “Mommy, Grandpa – look at this shell I received as a gift.” Her mother yelled back, “Oh, Sarah, you are so lucky.”  Sarah said, “Thank you for my shell”.  I said, “You are very welcome” and I continued on my walk.

As I walked away, I heard the words of a core teaching in my life, “A gift is not a gift until you give it away.”   I was grateful to be able to share unconditional generosity with this lovely little person, Sarah.   A moment in time that I am sure we both will remember.

As I reflected back on my encounter with Sarah, I envisioned her placing the magnificent shell on a shelf in her bedroom and each time she would look at it she would be reminded of her vacation with her family.

I held on to the shell long enough long to understand the gift of unconditional generosity.  Please don’t hold on to this story, please share the gift of this story with others. Giving my gift away was the best gift of all.  I wish the same knowing for each of you.