To the bridge of love,
old stone between tall cliffs
— eternal meeting place, red evening —,
I come with my heart.

Juan Ramón Jiménez
Translated by James Wright

 

The rocks were still there.  I was excited to see them again.  The winter storms have erased so many familiar landmarks – old trees had fallen, hillsides slid away and shorelines were reshaped.  I had imagined the possibility of these giant rocks breaking apart with the intense force of the stormy ocean waves.  Yet, there they were:  quiet giants standing at the far end of the beach.

My first time seeing these magnificent beings (yes, I consider rocks as living beings) was decades ago when I was visiting a friend who lived in a town nearby.  Little did I know then that I would eventually be living only a half hour away and could visit them regularly.  So, my excitement in seeing them was a visceral delight that I remember having when I would visit one of my grandmothers.

One grandmother in particular – my mother’s mother – was rock solid.   She felt sturdy with her corseted body and predictable mannerisms and routines.  Looking back, I realize her steady consistency instilled within me a deep sense of love and being loved.  It wasn’t the movie version of love, but a lovingness that showed up in her endless creativity and artistry in everyday living.  She could make beautiful things from scratch – pancakes, banana bread, jam, quilts, dollies, tablecloths, clothing and the flower garden she grew from seeds and cuttings.

Her reliable presence became an enduring touchstone of a love that feels like an inner rock, continually offering a sense of deep belonging.  I’ve been gifted with a life with few major disturbances – e.g., unexpected deaths of loved ones and moves – and one where this inner pillar has remained peacefully steady.  It has offered the ability for me to allow a growing appreciation that such love is life’s tether, between generations and all of life.  It allows me to feel this love within the rocks – knowing that as they erode, the resulting pebbles will continue to hold the love.

Practice
This practice supports gratitude for help you have received in life.

Prepare—

  • Begin seated.
    • Gently shrug your shoulders up and down a few times.
    • Open your mouth wide and yawn, or try to yawn.
    • Shake through your wrists. Open and squeeze your fingers.

Practice—

  • If comfortable, close your eyes. Otherwise, keep your eyes slightly open, with a soft gaze.
  • Allow your hands to rest comfortably in your lap.
  • Bring to mind someone who has helped you in your life. This might be someone who genuinely wanted the very best for you.
    • Allow yourself to wholeheartedly think of that person. If your mind wavers, gently bring your thoughts back to thinking about that person.
    • Imagine every cell in your body thinking of that person who truly loved and helped you.
    • Take 3-to-4 smooth, even breaths.
    • Then, silently utter “thank you” a few times, from the depths of sincerity.

Transition Back into Your Day—

  • Sit quietly, for as long as you feel comfortable.
  • When you are ready, return to your day.

This poem is from Mala of Love:  108 Luminous Poems, page 50, by Ravi Nathwani and Kate Vogt (editors), published by New World Library.  The practice is an excerpt from my book Our Inherited Wisdom: 54 Inspirations from Nature and Poetry, pages 287-288.  H E A R T H is posted each new and full moon on katevogt.com.  KateVogt©2024.

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