You may remember my rock-stacking diversion last year on the path into our woods. (If not see this earlier post. ) That was June, and I have kept the same 14 or so rock piles standing as much as I could throughout the winter, until some got tumbled and the rocks were buried under snow or frozen solid to the ground).
Last fall almost all of the stacks got knocked over around the same time, and all I could think of was that hunting season was driving deer up our woods road (normally they are kept away by the dogs). The piles have toppled and been rebuilt many times since then with the frost heaves and snowstorms. Some are so delicately balanced that even the wind can tumble them by knocking off the smaller top stone, throwing them down like dominoes.
Or maybe some of the snowshoe hares (like the one below) are to blame when they’re leaping across the trail, with Angus Dog in hot pursuit.
When Edward took the tractor down to clear snow off the path once, some of the rocks got totally relocated. And I have now given myself permission to discard a few stones that just drove me crazy trying to balance, (after all I DO make the rules for me, don’t I?) Not that it is really much easier.
In any case, they never turn out the same as they were originally, and I like that. It all adds to the metaphor that these little sentinels are for me: that we get knocked down or stumble, and when we get up and dust ourselves off and get back in the game we are never quite the same as before, but are still beautiful and interesting and unique. We may have more scars, but hopefully we have more wisdom too.
We get to choose how to recreate ourselves each time. And it still takes presence, and patience, as well as, paradoxically, a letting go of expectation.
And there is still play, having fun with it. My inner child comes out when I stop on my dog walk to re-assemble fallen stones, although I’m not exactly sure if the childlike part is more about the random creating or if it is the feeling that I’m playing hooky from work.
Here are some recent photos of some of them, jazzed up again with the “Lomo” camera filter that adds saturation and contrast at this more muted time of year. The sprinkle of rain earlier in the day also added to the colour, enhancing the richness of the rocks and the leathery red-brown of the dead leaves on the ground. In a month or two they’ll be surrounded again by the juicy fresh greens of the ferns as in last year’s pictures. And so the cycle continues.