images-63Today was a cloudy day with a promise of rain. We took ourselves off to the beach for a walk (or a paddle if it was warm enough) and to do some beach-combing. The sun came out as we trod the sand. It sparkled on the small waves washing into the bay. There was a breeze blowing gently. It felt good to be alive. Sometimes getting outside and paying attention to your surroundings is a great way to step away a from whatever might be creating issues in your life.

As I walked along I started to notice the different shells scattered like treasures across the sand. There were different bands of alternating sand and shells. Some parts of the sand were damp and others dry. Empty shells were concentrated where the current must have carried them. Sprouts of seaweed poked up here and there. Looking closer I started to notice all the different colours of the shells. Picking one up I could see the stripes of delicate colour, the contour of the way the shell had grown and the thickness of the shell itself. Soon I had a selection of shells in my hand. Some were fragile, some strong, one or two tiny and a few slightly mis-sharpen. From deep blue to baby pink, orange and yellow to deep brown, the shells lay abandoned by the creatures who had used them. Now they were becoming part of the beach. Crushed in places where walkers had trod on them. Wedged in rocks. Half buried in sand. I wondered how many people noticed the shells or tried beach-combing.

When I am close to Nature I feel my Elemental Guides more closely. When I put myself in connection with the energy of the Earth the Sprites, Gnomes, Fairies and Elves are there to speak to me. As I thought about the shells – not only as pretty objects but as the remains of a life lived – the Fae of this place stepped through the shadows. Eager to speak about the cycles of life they drew my attention to the bands of colour on the shells, the different shades within each type of shell. Like us these lives had been experienced in different ways. The inhabitants of the shells had been exposed to different influences, been located in different currents and grown in slightly different patterns and shapes. At the appropriate time the inhabitant of the shell had abandoned it – moved on, so to speak – leaving behind all that was no longer necessary. The shell had been outgrown.

We grow shells too. The patterns we follow are our shells. The experiences we have in life harden our values, define our beliefs and colour our understanding of ourselves. Although we may all start out with the same potential, what we are taught, how people react around us and what we discover within us leads us all to have slightly different shells. Our shell may become so solid, rigid and fixed that we can’t move beyond it. Even when the tides of energy push us into currents that are unfamiliar. Deciding to move out of that shell means becoming vulnerable to other influences. Taking on new ideas, experiences or feelings without a shell to protect us is a scary thing to do. Understanding that a shell can also become a restricted, limited space we need to be like the sea creatures who can shed a shell in order to grow a new, bigger, more colourful shell.

These lovely Elementals know that life is about opening up to the new. An old part of us has to cease to be, to die, so that we can explore all of our potential and live a full life. Nothing is ever lost completely. The energy memory remains just like the bands of colour in the shells. Take a few moments to go out into Nature in some way. Perhaps you can get to the sea and so some beach-combing of your own. Or stand in the garden, find some trees or visit a garden centre to be amongst the plants. Ask your Elemental Guides to step forward and help you notice and appreciate all of the beauty that the Earth shows us. Then consider if your shell has got too small. Is it time to shed that shell and grow a brand new one?

Day 191 of my blogging challenge. Written on Wednesday 25th May 2016.

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