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Zen Gardener's Blog - Wisdom from a pebble in my shoe.

Updated: Aug 22, 2021

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.