Stone is the face of patience.
Even rocks have stories to tell,
deep old stories of time passing through eons,
slow and fast moving water
shape the stones over millennia.
I have such a stone, ancient, from a creek bed in the Colorado Rockies.
It fills my whole hand with its weightiness.
Hefty. It feels hefty.
The color of dusky charcoal with white threadlike veins running around it,
tracing the paths of its life, telling the earth's story. But my stone has another story; the story of how it came into my life in the summer of 1982 during a family vacation through the west.
My husband, our ten-year-old son and I had climbed an easy sloping mountain where we sat, all three of us, hushed by the beauty of it all, the vastness from on high. The only sound, the flapping of a bird's wings. We sat in awed silence for a while, we three, with our own thoughts before we made our way back down the mountain. Our son, always fearless, made it down way ahead of us. It seemed like we all were craving continued silence as we went our separate ways to explore the creek bed, remaining within sight of each other, but feeling no need to talk.
The creek was lively, yet easy to navigate. As I waded the shallow waters, the rock caught my eye. It was sitting there alone, glistening, serene, tempting. I moved to pick it up, but hesitated for a second, not wanting to disturb it in its ancient bed. In the silence it seemed to call me; a connection on a cellular level that has stayed with us for 32 years.
She's a good traveler. (I think of her as female.) There is always room for her in my suitcase. She went to Scotland with me where I picked up a couple of traveling companions, two pieces of green marble from Iona. On a tour of the Isle of Coll, we saw formations of gneiss, some of the oldest rock on earth. I think she felt at home there.
I look at her every day. I hold her every day. She has been a silent witness to my journey. She's seen every emotion it's possible for a human to have. Sometimes I look to her for answers. She never has any. What she does have when I hold her in my hand is solidity. She takes me right back to that ancient silence, which gives me the space to be calm and focused. It's her never-ending gift to me. One that I never take for granted.
The few steady influences in my life are very precious to me. She has been a most steadfast presence. She doesn't judge. She abides.
Rebekah for the Poplar Grove Muse