Posted in Autumn, Beach, Earth, Exploring, Fire, Gifts, Gratitude, Mindfulness, Nature, Photography, Portals & Pathways, Quotes, Spirit, Summer, Travel, Up North, Walking & Wandering, Water, Writing

A Monday meander: Small stones

On the shore, looking through the clear water.

Be positive and enjoy more, laugh more, dance more, sing more.  Become more and more cheerful, enthusiastic about small things, even very small things.  Life consists of small things, but if you can bring the quality of cheerfulness to small things, the total will be tremendous.

So don’t wait for anything great to happen.  Great things do happen — it is not that they don’t — but don’t wait for the something great to happen.  It happens only when you start living small, ordinary, day-to-day things with a new mind, with new freshness, with new vitality, with new enthusiasm.  Then by and by you accumulate, and that accumulation one day explodes into sheer joy.

But one never knows when it will happen.  One has to just go on collecting pebbles on the shore.  The totality becomes the great happening.  When you collect one pebble, it is a pebble.  When all the pebbles are together, suddenly they are diamonds.  That’s the miracle of life.

There are many people in the world who miss because they are always waiting for something great.  It can’t happen.  It happens only through small things:  eating your breakfast, walking, taking a bath, talking to a friend, just sitting alone looking at the sky or lying on your bed doing nothing.  These small things are what life is made of.  They are the very stuff of life.

~ Osho, Day 120, Everyday Osho

A rocky shoreline.  Pemaquid Beach, Bristol, Maine. (June 2017)

I follow Yoko Ono on Twitter.  I don’t know if she’s an odd choice or not as far as following celebrities goes.  She was, I think, the first stranger (as in someone I don’t know) and celebrity that I followed when I first established a Twitter account.  I don’t remember why I decided to follow her.  Perhaps I’d seen one of her tweets somewhere and thought she’d be a good person to follow.

Yesterday, Yoko Ono tweeted, “Keep focused on PEACE for three months and your heart will be filled with more energy and your life will change in a very beautiful way.”  A few days before, she posted about doing something small and good every day.  Give a smile or a wink to a friend or loved one, do one good and modest thing.  Both tweets, small in nature (even if Twitter has doubled the character count), involve doing small things that add up over time.

Stones, small and large.

This notion of small things keeps coming up for me on the internet and in books that I’m reading.  I am reminded of a practice I participated in a few years ago.  It was a Mindful Writing Challenge from the folks at Writing Our Way Home.  They called this practice small stones which is basically a short writing practice in which you take a moment of mindfulness and then write about it.  The challenge lasted a month.  I think I did it two years in a row, or maybe they offered the challenge twice in one year.  I’m not sure.  I could go look, but it’s not that important.  The point is that it was a practice that I loved because it combined two things that I love:  writing and mindfulness.  (If you’d like to read my small stones, you can find them on my blog Bountiful Healing which, by the way, was my original WordPress blog.  The first post has a small stones tag.  Click on that and you’ll get just the small stones posts.).  I still write small stones.  I don’t post them too often anymore.  Instead, I collect my river of small stones in a little notebook I put aside for that purpose.

Swirling and rippling.

I went back to read some of my small stones this morning, and I was struck by how true to my heart many of them are.  I wrote haiku, prose, and what I suppose is free-form poetry.  I know very little about the different forms of poetry.  Whatever this writing is called — aside from small stones — it honed in on where I was at a particular moment.  Reading a small stone about chopping onions nearly brought me to tears (ha!) because of the longing I expressed to feel at home in what was, at the time, a new place that we were calling home.  I don’t think my writing was That Good.  It’s just that I know from those few words what it was I was trying to say, what I was feeling, and that feeling was basic homesickness.  Somehow I managed to articulate the whole of it in a condensed way.  Obviously that’s not my usual style.  Maybe it should be.  It’s good, at least once in a while, to get to the heart of the matter with as few words as possible.  By limiting words, I get to the essence, or soul, of the moment.

Stones and ripples.

Dawn, over at Change is Hard, recently wrote a post titled In between. And food.  Her laptop went kaput and she’s been using her phone to read and post.  She’s not been able to post pictures the way she usually does and this brought up the question, “Have we lost the ability to read without pictures?”  Interesting topic that she paired with another interesting topic which boils down to how we post about things (food, for instance) and get the most comments on things that are safe (food, for instance).

I mentioned to Dawn in the comments that I used to rely more on words than images in the early days of blogging.  In fact, there was a time when I didn’t use photos at all because I didn’t have a digital camera.  Dawn and I have similarities in how we write our blog posts, allowing the images to drive our thoughts and words.  It might be interesting to challenge myself to stop relying on the images and see what I can come up with when I have to draw you a picture, so to speak, using only (or mostly) words.

And just for fun and giggles, that is how this post evolved.  Instead of beginning with images, I began with words.  Now I have to see what I will come up with in terms of photos to go with my words.

Sunlight on sand and water.

Thank you for visiting and for reading on this gray and rainy November day.  The photos are from the trip M and I took to Maine where we had a wonderful time with some of our family.  I hope we get to go back there again someday.  Maine is a beautiful state.

Be good, be kind, be loving.  Just Be.  🙂

Resting on the beach.

A few of the 10,000 reasons to be happy:  436)  Warm and happy memories of vacations.  437)  Exploring matters of the heart and soul.  438)  The small heater under my desk that keeps my feet toasty.  439)  Getting ready for a friend to visit us here at the ranch.  440)  My hands.  They are busy hands, and mostly happy hands.

The path to the beach.

Author:

Robin is a photographer, artist, writer, yoga teacher, sometime poet, wife, mom, grandma, daughter, sister, friend, and occasional traveler currently living on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. She shares her daily walks and meanders, a lot of quotes, some of her artwork, and a lot of her photography here on Ye Olde Blogge. Older posts can be found at Life in the Bogs, her previous blog. Robin and her husband are (still!) in the midst of renovating the house and cleaning up the property they refer to as the Wabi-Sabi Ranch, 35 acres that include marsh, a dock on a tidal creek, meadows, and woodlands. Every day brings new discoveries.

6 thoughts on “A Monday meander: Small stones

  1. You always bring up interesting topics, Robin.
    I suppose in doing anything, if you break it down into small pieces–or stones–it makes it easier to handle, process, think about, do, or whatever.
    But also, wonderful photos. 😉

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  2. I like the idea of little stones making up your life. It reminds me of something I heard once: “If you want a great life, start with a great moment, then minute, then hour, then day, then month, year and decades will add up to a great life.”
    I love your images and hope you don’t reduce their number too much! I think you balance your words and images well. Compared to me, I started out writing with a few images and then veered over to mostly images with little writing. Every once in a while I wonder about that and if I ‘should’ start writing more, but the call isn’t so strong. I have been pondering small poems, however, concise words like you mentioned, describing the ‘small things.’ We’ll see. Keeping up the yoga practice has opened a calm center that stays with me, along with a fluidity of body and purpose, hard to describe, as you know. It may flow from that. 🙂

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  3. I like the idea of this writing practice. It’s focusing. I am making small inroads with meditation again and it’s showing its lovely benefits even with small amounts of time. I’m looking forward to building up. Thanks for your continued inspiration!

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  4. There was for me, a feel of serenity in this post, I think in large part because your lovely photos focused on the things found where bodies of water are. Water is a source of peaceful feelings for me. My blog beginnings were a way to keep my people informed when husband and I traveled, then became an outlet when words were screaming to be loosed, moving on to being a way to share photos, with photos sometimes driving the words and other times the words driving the photos. More recently, the words are back in charge. Change, the one constant.

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  5. I love reading your thoughts. You have this ephemeral way of getting to the heart of the matter, but by taking a path that is neither direct nor circuitous, kind of like how, when electrons change from a lower energy state to a higher energy state, they briefly just – cease to exist – and then, there they are.

    Thank you for the reminder – I’ll be more mindful of the small stones and their collective brilliance.

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Comments are delightful and always appreciated. I will respond when I can (life is keeping me busy!), and/or come around to visit you at your place soon. Thank you!

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