My almost two-year old granddaughter is fascinated with rocks. Each week when she visits, she asks to go outside, then charges directly to my vegetable garden, the path through which is made of rocks, stones, and pebbles. She squats down and carefully picks up and examines one rock after another. Some go into her basket; some go back onto the path. She can do this for a LONG TIME. She will not tire of it. Eventually, I have to distract her with promises of cookies and milk to her lure her away from the garden path of rocks, to come back inside. Often even the offer of the rare cookie treat holds no sway. The rocks completely capture her attention.
I love looking at her looking at the rocks. I can do this for a LONG TIME. She completely captures my attention.
We are practicing mindfulness without even intending it. It feels wonderful. It is easeful, joyful, relaxing, thrilling, fun….kind of magical really.
I teach mindfulness as a large part of my work in the world. I teach about it, what it is, how to do it/be it, why it matters. I lead people through mindfulness meditations and mindful engagements, because to experience it is to appreciate it and value it, to want more of it. Most people remember the feeling from childhood: that feeling of being completely absorbed in some game, or book, or nature, or play of some kind, where time and worry completely disappear.
Find a rock.
Maybe more than one. Maybe many. Or, just the one the “speaks” to you.
You need to get down low to the ground and see what is there.
Feel the rock, its shape, bulk, edges, flatness or bulges.
Notice the colors, the textures, the grains, the smoothness, the nicks or layers.
Listen as your rocks tumble and clink against one another in your pocket or pouch.
When you get home, wash your rocks, noticing how the colors change and designs emerge in the water.
Let them slip and tumble through your fingers, raining and plopping into the water.
Over and over again.
Carefully place your rocks where you can see, touch, smell, and play with them organizing them into categories, relationships, and designs.
Carry a rock in your pocket wherever you go, or on your desk, or by your bedside, to rub and ponder as needed.
FYD (For Your Delight) there is a wonderful picture book by Byrd Baylor called Everybody Needs a Rock. All of her books are a mindful, insightful journey into a child’s experience, with spare drawings of the desert landscape by Peter Parnall. They appeal to the child in everyone, whatever your age.
Christy loves to scout for wisdom in being a flourishing, joyful, compassionate, and loving human being.