One of the greatest gifts my Mother gave me was the practice of writing thank-you notes. As far back as I can remember, she modeled to me the sweet reality that all gifts deserve and require gracious acknowledgement.
I say sweet reality because this was not a spoken lesson or a forced lesson or any kind of struggle at all. It was simply the way that she enjoyed the ritual of saying thank-you for what she received. And the way that it never occurred to her that her daughter would not also participate in this tradition. She just showed me how and why to do it.
Though my Mother’s Mother died when I was 6 years old, I know in the same way I know I am loved that my Grandmother also practiced this tradition. And no doubt, her Mother and her Mother, and on back through time, the women of my family completed the process of receiving with gratitude and acknowledgement to the gifter.
My Mother also wrote Get Well notes and Sympathy notes, and Birthday and Graduation and Holiday notes. Most days, if you were lucky, there was a note to write. So, as I grew into adulthood, it was an effortless undertaking for me to continue this tradition. And I did. And I never gave it much thought until recently.
This past October I took my granddaughter Ava to Sedona to celebrate her Maidenhood in ceremony. We welcomed her into the arms of the Divine Feminine, we embraced her into her ancestral female lineage, we honored the Triple Goddess in all women, we sang, we laughed, we cried, and we taught her about the sacred beauty and importance of giving and receiving.
She was instructed to gift her elders with hand-made gifts from Mother Nature. She was given gifts from her elders. And most beautifully, she was shown the sacredness of giving and to receiving from the heart.
In the process of performing this ceremonial sacrament, I was transported in time back to my Mother’s side when I was a maiden and we were both writing our thank-you notes. And in that flash, I saw the deeper magic in those notes. The way they open the writer’s heart. The way they open the receiver’s heart. The way we become connected in that open heartedness. The way healing becomes present in that open heartedness. The way smiling and remembering and gladness become present in that open heartedness. And miracle of miracles; the way the doorway to beauty and upliftment and oneness becomes visible to the openhearted.
So now, even though Mother has been off the planet for 29 years, and some might think it a bit late (I know it is not), it occurs to me to write a thank-you to my Mother.
Mom, thank you so much for showing me how much joy there is in giving and receiving. Thank you so much for your grace and beauty and skill in teaching me this deep and abiding truth without ever making it a chore. Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful, sacred traditions with me. Thank you for the ten thousand other things you gifted me. I bow to your generosity and wisdom across all time and space and fully accept the healing magic of the thank-you note.