Small (and Heart-Shaped) Stones

On our walk this morning, I was finding tons of heart-shaped rocks. Eric said that they really were just “circles with a chunk missing.” And yeah, I think he’s right, even in the metaphorical sense (which is even more fun than fact). Our heart is a circle–unbroken, whole, perfectly and evenly round with no dark corners or sharp edges–with a chunk missing. That might just be the fundamental dilemma of our existence, our experience, that missing piece. It turns our sense of wholeness, of completeness into a ghostly thing that longs and aches, a persistent and lingering sadness. We are basic goodness (or a spirit, soul, divinity, higher self, life spark–how ever you label it) that is housed inside, manifested through a mortal, soft animal body. We have a sense of endlessness, but at the same time we are finite. It is confusing, upsetting.

We took a magical 2.5 hour walk on the beach this morning. We saw a bald eagle twice, the boys were off-lead for at least half the time, and about half that time, they behaved themselves. Because we went so far, they’ve spent much of the rest of the day napping and being loved.

For me, there was hardly any reentry nonsense this trip. As soon as we got here and walked in the door, it felt like we’d just been here, no weirdness at all. The car was unpacked, everyone’s beds made, groceries bought, a stand-up desk fashioned from seascape puzzle boxes, and that was it–we were here.

Snapshots, snippets, and small stones of the day:

  • Driving up the coast to Newport this afternoon, the sun was shining, the ocean a deep blue, the pine trees and grasses various shades of green. I’m a dangerous driver when we first get here, because every new scene takes my breath away, makes me stare and tear up, and I almost forget that I’m in control of a metal death machine.

  • While I was gone to Newport, Eric found wild strawberries in our front yard. There was a Farmer’s Market where I bought a head of gorgeous lettuce, but apparently the berry stand sold out only half an hour after they opened, so at least I got a little taste.

  • We visited “Obi’s spot” on our walk this morning, a place where we scattered some of Obi’s ashes last time we were here. It’s a fresh water stream at the point of our walk where we turn around and go back, where we always let the dogs off and in the water to play.
    There are these gorgeous, ancient, wind bent pine trees at the mouth of the stream, and a cluster of yellow wild irises. There were two tiny blooms today. If our hearts are circles with a chunk missing, Obi is part of my missing chunk.

  • The High Park Fire is still burning. In his status update this morning, Shambhala Mountain Center Executive Director Jon Barbieri offered this wisdom, “In the midst of seeming difficulty, there can be clarity, profundity and a sense of awake. There can also be sadness.” Yes, yes there can.

1 thought on “Small (and Heart-Shaped) Stones

  1. Kathryn

    Loving the pictures ~ thank you. I used to spend so much time by the sea. I had a collection of heart shaped rocks! Seems so long ago ….


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