After a while you don't notice the diamond shine in the window you set with so much care. The new desk you made is suddenly ten years worn. You've lived free of a cubicle job for a decade and a half on the edge of living your dreams. Suddenly you're fifty, not thirty when you smoked, drank and did all sorts of things that makes one blush. Now you contemplate the garden and pray for the dog that that is aiming for your gratitude with his plaintiff barking.
All the hard work to lay up this knotty pine wall, all the to-do lists and plywood scrabble, that is all just the jetsam of living now. Your memory is suddenly the shining sea. Your attention is the sky shattered with diamonds.
Suddenly your mother is old and your own mornings are achy. The dreams of a wild wood island are dusted off and then set in a frame by your window.
You step out into this morning, into this field, into this moment and breathe deeply.
Where did the time go? And how has the love of your gaze changed in this one precious, fleeting life?
"'I tell you,' he replied, 'if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.'"
Jesus in the Gospel of Luke 19:40
I have the part-time privilege of working on the land of my community: People of the Heart. I stay busy pulling weeds, coaxing gravel onto the trails, digging in the rock strewn clay and trimming the waves of grasses. I also help with revealing the sacred altars that already are singing beneath the forest duff.
My friends, J & J, are the legal and spiritual stewards of this land. They asked me to move a great stone a hundred yards into a meditation grove above their labyrinth.
A great basaltic hulk stood to the top of my knees. It must have weighed 400+ pounds. So I devised a way to muscle it up onto a dolly and strain my way down to the grove. I tackled the stone with will and force, the way many humans are inclined to do when reshaping nature.
After an hour of sweat and mud and pushing flattened wheels through the woodland I paused. I remembered the vision of this place: a co-created community including all beings... including the stone people.
So I sat and prayed to the essence of the stone. I journeyed to its mysterious dark heart. I did not hear the literal voice of the stone, or spirit's wisdom or an angel's advice. Instead, my prayer became a circle of gratitude. I began to really see the stone. It was no longer viewed as a resource or something to be subdued. I saw it as a part of the Earth's living heart, and as part of me.
Then I became partners with the stone.
It yielded its secrets, like how every stone has tipping points. These are the soft edges that are fulcrums of movement. If I could move the stone up on one of these edges then its own weight would move itself with its own momentum. No clever maul of a mechanical device was required. I rolled this behemoth the last 80 feet with relative ease and absolute respect.
Before rolling the stone into the slot that I'd prepared in the side of the mountain I prayed again:
"Please move within my hands, so I may be your friend, so I may be pleasing to the spirits of this place, so your beauty may be revealed."
The great stone slid into the nook of earth, and is now a seat for meditation. Its beauty fills the grove.
I'm reminded of the ways of creation. Many people live as if we are to subdue and tame the Earth. Yet the strains and tragedies of that mindset are breaking our world into separate squabbling pieces.
A small, soft edge can be the fulcrum from which a seemingly impossible weight can move. I'm reminded how we are at home when we pause, sit still and see the creation... then we hear its song.
The stones sing for you when you listen. Our very bones are made from their long melodious dreams.