Hearts of Stone
I remember the crunching sound of my feet shuffling, scattering pebbles about, as I walked that morning. The sun was barely tree-top high in the sky, the leaves were sparkling, and there was a fragrant breeze; honeysuckle and wild garlic. For whatever reason, I don’t even recall it now, I was distraught. I felt totally alone, unloved and hopeless.
And then my toe smacked into a perfectly honed, heart-shaped stone. As I bent down to pick it up, the sun crested the tops of the trees and I felt its warmth on my back. It occurred to me in that moment, I was not alone and that someone, a Great Spirit, Faeries, the Universe, God (I’ll leave the naming to you), had left it there to stub my toe and stop me in my melancholy tracks. I felt loved. I felt hope. I kept that heart-stone on a window ledge so I could look at it and remember.
Eventually, I was called upon to do the unthinkable; to give my beloved heart-shaped stone away…to someone who loved it as dearly as me, maybe even more.
Now, please don’t be sad for me, dear reader, because on that very day I found three more heart-shaped stones, and another, and several more.
Everywhere I turn I find them now; big, small, shiny, rough, perfectly formed, some with tiny flaws. To some, they are just rocks, but to me, they are undeniably hearts, one and all.
I keep them in my pockets these days, to remember…and just in case I have an opportunity to give one away to someone who needs to know they are not alone, that they are loved, and that there is hope.
If you should ever happen to find a heart-shaped stone of your very own, I hope you’ll remember too.
life to death to life
skeletal fragments turned cold
chiseled stones remembering
love requires letting go
a heart surrenders, knowing
A haibun/tanka For Colleen Chesebro’s Weekly Poetry Challenge, prompt words, stone and turn.