Seeing all these special hand-painted stones reminded me of a wonderful book I read called “Simple Ways” by Gunilla Norris. I imagine whoever painted these held the stones for awhile, appreciating the shapes, listening to them, spending time with them, walking with them, feeling them, and adding their own special energy to the stones on this big rock I saw at Spirit Rock Meditation Center in Woodacre, California. They seemed like jewels, as do the delicate blue flowers on the field of green. The stones became more real, more alive, because of who spent time with them and appreciated them, kind of like the Velveteen Rabbit becoming real through the love of a child.
“We pick up shells and stones on the beach because something about them is pleasing. We leave them on our shelves and windowsills to touch now and then and to enjoy again. But to make something a real presence in our lives we must use it often and get to know it intimately.
Many people have used rosary beads, mala beads, ankhs and crosses, amulets and crystals, as objects of significance. If we are not drawn to a specifically religious object, perhaps a little, ordinary stone will do…
A little stone grows warm in our hands.
The moisture from our skin makes it glisten,
just as any loving touch makes what is touched
glisten with life.
We hold it in prayer like an anchor,
to keep our thoughts from drifting away…”
—Gunilla Norris, “Simple Ways”