I was on a weekend writing retreataweekbefore my mother died. For one exercisethe facilitator sent us offon a huntto find meaningful rocks, ones that felt significant to us in some way. I felt directed down the driveway and onto the road. I looked down at the road building chippings by the side of the road and saw one that looked like it would make a goodpendulum orpendant. Really, ordinary roadside rocks? Youve got to be kidding me.
I picked it up along with two of its colleagues and headed back up to the house. The rest of the group shared their stories about how they found their perfect rocks along with a huge lump of quartz crystal. Come on! I picked up ordinary road building chippings. I cant have done this exercise right.
I was part jealous, part embarrassed. I chose not to share with the group the process I went through to find myownrock.
By the third day after the retreat, the rock was callingtome to be worn round my neck. OK then! So what is this rock? I went out to the internet to find out what rocks are used in road building. Not limestone, not granite. Basalt!Next, what are the qualities of basalt? I found an interesting page on the web but, honestly, although the qualities sounded useful I really didnt connect with them. Not until I had worn the basalt rock around my neck every day for a week. Not until the day after my mother had rejoined our ancestors when I went back and reread the qualities of basalt. Not until I was in the middle of adjusting to the grieving process did I understand those words from the internet. I quote, This strong rock lends its strength and endurance to people as they try to continue in difficult times or deal with traumatic changes.
I wore that rock round my neckevery dayforovertwo weeks until the home-made pendant broke. We were gathered at my mothers house with family and friends for a small celebration of her life. The pendant brokefive minutes before I started my eulogy for my mother. The rock landed on the floor. It had done its work.
Rock envy? No! I had picked up my own perfect rock!