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Hearts of Stone

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.

Magical Stone Soup


I would be remiss if I didn’t include this magical recipe in my blog. After all it is a feature element of the title of my recipe category. I learned this recipe as a young scout using a campfire as the heating element, but it can easily be modified to work in a modern kitchen.  The key element when planning this dish, besides getting the perfect stone of course, is that it is meant to be a group cooking event.  The more the better!  Which means PARTY!

Here is what you will need:
1 Large Stock Pot
1 Stone or Pebble – One should take great care in selecting the perfect stone or pebble for the intended group. Shape, size, color and interesting marbling should all be taken into consideration, as each attribute contains particular magical properties (you will know your stone and what those properties are once you have found it!) Oh…and one more thing…be sure you have thoroughly cleaned the stone before cooking.
Invitations! – You certainly can’t hold a Stone Soup Party without these! Start with the usual, “You’re Invited!”, Date, Time, Place (and directions if needed), and then add instructions: “Admission to the Party requires One Can of Soup – Any kind will do!”
As the perfect host or hostess, you will also want to provide other side dishes such as bread (you can find my famous Beer Bread recipe here) or crackers, beverages, perhaps a nice green salad, dessert and napkins, bowls, utensils, etc.

On party day, once all your guests have arrived, gather everyone (each with their can of soup in hand) to the kitchen or the campfire where you will have placed your stock pot. This is when you will present the “magic” stone to everyone, explaining it’s particular magical qualities, not the least of which is the ability to render anything that is added to the pot edible. And not “just” edible, but the “Most amazing delicious soup they have ever tasted!” Then place the stone in the bottom of the pot and invite your guests, one by one, to present their soup and add it to the pot.

There will be doubters of course.  Especially when each person opens their can of soup and pours it in (note: if the soup is condensed, add the appropriate amount of water). Some will be certain that their cream of “this” and your tomato or chicken or clam “that” couldn’t possibly taste good together.  Someone is likely to even bring a can of split pea, which will certainly raise an eyebrow or two. And don’t get me started on the chowders!  But never fear…just let the stone do its magic! (You may need to assure everyone else at this point too!)

Once everyone has contributed their soup to the recipe, turn up the heat and give it a good stirring until it is simmering and bubbly hot. Serve with the sides you have provided, and enjoy!

The real magic of course is not that you have just created the most delectable, one of a kind, impossible to replicate soup recipe of all time, but that you have done it with family or friends and spent a lovely time together doing it!

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