And it was there, in that little green wood near the thin flowing creek, that I found my little lonely stone.
The only stone within view that did not rest beside its comrades. By anything, really. Sure when you looked at it, it sat there, on the ground. And one could say this was near the creek, or that it was near the road.
But it was neither of these things. It was by and beside nothing at all. The little lonely stone sat nearest to nothing at all. It simply sat.
I felt a sort of sadness, then. A deep one, familiar and odd.
So, I took it. I picked it up between three fingers and one thumb. I felt it’s smoothness, with one little crevasse on it’s side. I believe the left side–it has not yet deigned to tell me, but that is what I think.
The weight of it was nothing at all, and yet everything all at once. Picking it up meant that I had changed things. I had removed this stone from its perfectly alone place. Perhaps, this would be my crime. Before all else, this was what went wrong.
But for the time being, I had no knowledge of such things. All I could tell for sure was that the stone was no longer alone. It was in my hand, and a new weight began to settle. The weight of decency, and of doubt. The weight that comes with making a decision in a single moment, making it with sound mind and beating heart, and knowing that there are ways in which these sorts of decisions stay with us.
I knew now, as one who had abolished the loneliness of the stone, that I was responsible for it. Like a mother in some ways, but not really. A mother knows instinctively. She is given reassurance, by her blood and by her breath, that this is the right thing to do(most times, anyway). When you are not so tied to that which you are holding, it is different. You worry. You worry that you are not the right one for such a task, that perhaps someone better might have been just two or ten steps behind.
Such is the way of things.
As it was, I had made my decision, and so I carried it out. The stone found a home in my pocket. Cloth and residue, the constant warmth of my leg as it traveled or rested or wondered. My leg, that is. For the stone I could not say. If this was travel, it would see wear. If it were rest, perhaps it would awaken a brighter gray.
But the stone knew none of these things. Though, I did feel for a moment that perhaps, of all the stones in the world, this one wondered.
As I made my way back along the path, passing birdsong and willowspit, I felt each angle of the dirt beneath my feet. “Careful, careful,” I whispered to the earth. Precious cargo, I thought silently, nodding the notion to the soil.
I was always one to believe I came from soil. There was not much evidence otherwise, and so I took this belief and I made it one of the 57 beats of my heart. I left it there, exposing my chest to the sun, to see if anything would germinate. All that sprouted then was knowledge of things lacking.
So many of us have holes. They are often in the heart, but for me it is not so. I think that my heart has never needed much. It is only as it is, and there are not many like that. My holes are in my stomach, because that is where laughter lives. In all parts of me, I wished to know what it felt like, to have that patched up. To feel the weight of something fall to the pit of my stomach and bounce back out full force, without my expectation or even my allowance.
I wonder if laughter is crime, to one who seeks to only express and ingest what they explicitly allow.
I peered apologetically at my pocket. I knew my thoughts were many and loud, some even voiced. The stone likely knew only the flowing of the thin creek, the swaying of dark wood and gentle leaf.
Wishing not to overstimulate, I took a breath. Yes there is soil, okay. Yes it is beneath me, okay. There are steps to take and they are many, okay. I will take them and then they will have been taken, okay.
My mind cleared, my path set, I walked. I walked in a way that felt like an attempt at respect, failing blindly. To attempt the peace of a stone, let alone one so lonely as this, is a folly of what I assume to be a laughable magnitude.
As I traveled and the stone sat, I wondered where the sun was. After so many steps it seemed to have moved far and away from me. I liked that about it. Constant, in its abandonment and return. Yes it leaves, but it always comes back. I hate the leaving but I love an arrival. So I am cursed to love the sun evermore, beyond sight and rationale and breakfast on a mountaintop. All of these things, far, far beyond. My love for the sun reaches around the whole of our planet and back again, letting every last being know that I adore her most.
It is nice because it is invisible. I can be sure of it, because no one can touch it.
I thought that maybe I could share that. Only with my little lonely stone and no one else.