I woke up this morning and knew something was wrong. Not like a comet heading to Earth to wipe everything out, 'wrong'. Just that feeling you sometimes get when you can't focus to get anything done, and thoughts run amuck,...Worried!... about something. But What!?
Apparently, the word worried, generally means you are focused on something negative, usually from the past, obsessing that it may happen again in the future,..and therefore not really paying attention to the present. It makes you walk in circles, forgetting why you came into a room, messing up the task you think you want to get done, all the while realizing, your mind is buzzing with some anxiety you just can't seem to get under control.
This is when I either meditate, or just go out to my garden and start watering things. Today, I felt activity would help. So, I slipped on my gardening sandals, (you know, the beat up, dirty and comfy ones) picked up the hose and dragged it out methodically to avoid the inevitable kinks and snags. Unfortunately, it quickly became obvious that not a single one of my herbs, or veggies needed any water. Nothing needed pruning or picking either. Damn! My frustration elevated at my continued sense of task failure.
I stalked back to turn off the water, dragging my feet, and of course, a small pebble slipped between the sole of my right foot and the inner sandal, just as I stepped down. Ouch! It stopped my progress and I stood there balancing on my left foot while unsuccessfully trying to shake the offending stone out of my right sandal. This went on longer than it should have due to my mounting irritation, and I am sure it was very entertaining to my neighbors as well. I finally dropped the hose from my hands and squatted down to pull the pebble from my sandal.
I turned the pebble over in my hand, looking at it from all angles. I like rocks. I collect them, generally finding those with interesting features, purpose or beauty. This wasn't one of those. There was no glint of sparkle from a hidden crystal, no profound colors or shape to it. It was small, plain and overwhelmingly insignificant, worn by time and its millions of years on this Earth. In comparison, my scant 62 years were a fraction of a blip to this stone's long journey into my garden. It could have started as molten lava, forming a huge rock formation that over those millions and millions of years, chipped away to become this tiny remnant of elements held together by shear will and determination after surviving seemingly random circumstances.
I looked at it sitting on my palm, and instead of tossing it aside, this seemingly random rock in my garden, provided me a profound message which stopped my mind from racing and let me finally take a deep, cleansing breath.
It just doesn't matter...the pebble signaled,...and it was right.
I felt a sense of wonder as I looked into the heart of this tiny zen master,...still standing in my garden, thinking of all the history, the changes, the traumas this small rock had experienced and how those moments in turn, created change to this small stone. A wave of calm washed over me as I realized, yes,...it just doesn't matter,... whatever is worrying me doesn't matter. Because it hasn't happened yet, ...and may never happen. So, why am I am wasting my time! My precious little blip of time on Earth is being wasted! What a profound message from a pebble that literally stopped me from losing my day.
Teachings and wisdom from unexpected sources should always be heeded, as the Divine 'speaks' to us all the time,...if only we allow ourselves to 'listen' to the message.
I cannot change the past, however I can learn from it. I can work on the present with my full attention and my best ability. And this allows me to create a better future. I cannot control the elements, nor other people...not any crises that may arise from external sources. I can only manage my own reactions and my own feelings while improving on myself each day. Something that only happens by paying attention to the Now. And, apparently, the occasional pebble in your shoe. Yet, sometimes a pebble is just a pebble. Only you can decide if there is a message involved.
As for me, I have decided to keep my tiny zen master of a pebble in a place of honor and visibility within my home, to help keep me on track, and in the present where I belong.
Be happy, and Best Wishes in Health!