Call of the stones

A stone strewn beach. It is early morning. The coolness from the night is still palpable in the fresh salty air, but the newly risen sun is starting to create pockets of gentle, comfortable warmth. The light is beautiful, bringing a glow to the waves and enhancing the colours of the beach pebbles, the seaweeds, the cliffs and the air itself. The just woken up seagulls are sitting at the edge of the water, preening themselves and catching the first rays. They are still quiet. All there is to hear is the sound of the incoming tide making way over the rocks, my feet treading the pebbled beach and the distant sounds of a small town waking up.

Soon the heat of the day and the busy-ness of people will take over and this knowledge encourages me to savour every moment. As I slowly make my way, listening to the waves and admiring the beauty all around me, I find myself picking up stones. As one catches my eye, I pause, briefly feeling into whether it is right to pick it up and as I get the go-ahead, I lift it off its perch and take in its beauty before carrying on. Sometimes I carry it with me for a while, enjoying its coolness slowly warming up in my hand, the comfort of its age-old body reminding my body of its origins.

Occasionally one will come home with me and finds a place on a shelf, a windowsill, the garden, where it then sits, unobtrusive, comfortably blending in in my human world, a physical reminder of the beauty of my wider environment. Some stay for years, some forever, others for a few days.

One day I was walking with my husband on the beach, chatting away, when a sparkle from the corner of my eye compelled me to look down. In between all the stones, seaweed and gravel was a perfect little quartz crystal enticing me to pick it up. I imagine it had probably washed off the quartz seams in the cliffs nearby and carried to the beach by the sea. I did pick it up and took it home with me, where it happily lives at the base of a house plant.

I often marvel at what is taking place in these moments of recognition. What makes me pick up a stone in the first place? Why do I choose one and not another? What made me stop in my tracks in the middle of a conversation and find a small quartz crystal that is hardly noticeable in between all that surrounds it?

Undoubtedly there will be psychological, biological, neurological and other scientific explanations for this. But in this case, I am not interested in these. Because I know that as soon as I start to think and look with my thinking mind instead of all my senses, the magic disappears. The stones become things, named objects, linear results of ancient causes. And the call stops.

Instead, I choose to let myself be wrapped in the mystery and magic of these moments. To stay open to the call and to the spontaneous response that arises in me on sensing it. Each time, it leaves me feeling deeply enriched and sustained by the life affirming experience of a connection that runs deeper than the logical mind can ever know. The mystery of life.

The Stone Circle

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