We need reminders. As time goes on we begin to see the dreams we haven’t reached in full-on, hi-def focus, and the beautiful, strong things that we have done appear distant, in the background, hazy and indistinct. I think it is then important to see an object, hear a song, or draw near to something that remind us that there has been beauty, worth, and even treasure in the circuitous route to the present.
I gather rocks. When there is a moment of beauty or a time when the future is being forged right before my eyes I try to find a rock to mark the moment, and place it in a bowl. When we enjoy a day together as a family or my daughter that needs to always be okay feels safe enough to collapse in my arms and weep, in that moment I look around for a rock. I can come to this little bowl of moments and pause to remember there have been victories.
Where are you today? You may be in the highest heights and not even be able to make out those down below because we have grown so small in the splendor of your current journey. If so, I hope you fly, friend and enjoy the heights! Breathe it in and rejoice at the gifts of this season. I am here to rejoice with those who rejoice and do a funky victory dance as you feast on the delicacy that is found in truly joyful seasons.
You may be low. You might be so low that you’re feeling around in the darkness which seems to have drowned out the light for the present moment. You’re looking for a friend or some small opening to the dark cave that you currently find yourself feeling trapped in. In this moment you may need something to remind you that this cave is not your home. You haven’t always been here and you will not remain here till the end. This is a temporary season, a transitional location. Like the seed in the deep wet cold soil that breaks apart to bring forth the new growth you are here for a season and great beauty can spring forth from what seems to be the very worst of circumstances.
In seasons of high and low, in every season we need reminders that the current reality does not define our entire story. I need something around me to remind me that my story began in a different place and there have been many stops along the way. After visiting a place like this in the past do I remember what was born in and through that time? I need to remember that I am not alone and that I cannot see very far within my own experience.
The rocks are for these times. Looking at my tiny bowl, I remember playing with my smallest outside on a trip to the mountains where we were all struggling, and finding true beauty and rest in her silly giggle as we took this one gray pointy rock and made squiggles in the dirt. Sometimes I need to remember the simplicity of sitting in dirt and drawing with a little one while the drama fades for a bit into the background. I need to remember walking on the beach with my two oldest on a beach trip with friends. To recall scooting them out of the house to avoid waking everyone up and then being shocked to find a long stroll watching the sun rise and bring sparkly twinkles to the ocean and to our conversation covering real topics and deep, rich hearts.
I need my “in case of emergencies” bowl that is there for those times when I get amnesia and forget that there have been great moments, sweet love, and delightful celebrations sprinkled in on this sometimes lengthy ride. Have people who can help you edit the story you are telling yourself when it has nothing to do with reality but also have a “bowl of rocks” for those times when your closest friends can’t read your mind on what you need. Have your “in case of emergencies” ready so that you can remind yourself that amidst the tee shirts damp from absorbing the tears and the moments that seem long, repetitive, and thankless that there has been joy, beauty, strength and loveliness. Be comforted with the realization that they will come again. The rocks will come again, sweet friend.