“We have forgotten what rocks still know – we have forgotten how to be – to be still – to be ourselves – to be where life is here and now.” ~ Eckhart Tolle
In the weeks that have followed the horrific Hamas attack, we have collectively felt our footing shaken by the human atrocities that have been witnessed in the Middle East. We are hungering to ground with the earth, and to feel a sense of stability and solidity. Humanity’s energy, as a whole, has become scattered, as we are all interconnected, woven into the fabric of our planet.
On a pilgrimage to France back in 2022, one of the most serene experiences I had was deeply resting on a large, flat stone out in nature – in the silence, communing with the ancient energy of this element. Pondering on the smoothness of the rock that had endured generations of weathering from water, ice, strong winds, and temperature changes. This vessel of energy that had become flattened with age, and yet radiated such subtle sacredness. I remember feeling a sense of comfort and curiosity, letting my mind muse on thoughts about whether someone from a different era may have laid on this very same rock to also find stillness and serenity.
In Japan, rock gardens are revered as places of calm to meditate and restore our energy. Native Americans thought of rocks as the very bones of Mother Earth. And, I think on the marvelous relaxation that comes from a hot stone massage — and our connection with the warmth and energy of the stone against our skin, muscles, and bones. Yes, when we think of rocks, they are able to stay rooted, resilient, sturdy, solid, and steadfast – persevering as some of the oldest objects of strength and protection. It brings to mind the pyramids, medieval castles, and Stonehenge. On some level, we connect intimately with this ancient element.
When we go to the Scriptures, stone symbolism is abounding, for instance:
“The Lord is my rock, my fortress, my strength.” ~ Psalm 18:2; or Jesus talking with Simon and shares: “I will call you Peter or rock, for upon this rock I will build my church and nothing will prevail against it.” ~ Mathew 16:18.
Or we think of the hymn, My Hope is Built on Nothing Less, where we sing: “On Christ my solid rock I stand – all other ground is sinking sand.”
Yes, even spiritually, rocks stand for protection, power, endurance, security, and constancy.
Last month, on my birthday, my oldest son, Nathanael, paid me a beautiful compliment in sharing that I have been a rock in his life.
And what does it mean to be another person’s rock? To me, it means staying calm when the chaos of storms in life start to abound; it’s being emotionally stable and reliable; it’s being there to listen, not stoically, but attentively being present, with strength and support.
May we, in this period of heightened tensions, especially those of us who are highly caring and empathetic, reach out to our ancient companions on the journey of life, both literally and figuratively – getting out in nature more, holding a stone and feeling its wisdom energy and peace – and not being afraid to reach out to those who are our rocks, those friends and family that bring us support, strength and love.
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