To Sing Until Smooth

photo by Nate Gibson

Our favorite beach on Vancouver Island, visited over a dozen times over the last 29 years, has a rocky section of what I call “singing stones.”  The waves crash repeatedly over them, and then as the water pulls back to the ocean, a burbling song arises as the stones are turned over and over, rolling against each other as if in a natural rock tumbler.  Eons of tides have smoothed them to a perfectly round or oval finish with few defects. Depending on where I walk on this beach, the stones can be several inches across, or can be reduced to tiny pebbles.  They tend to keep company with those the same size.

The smoother the surface, the more easily the stones roll as the wave turns them over and the louder they “sing” as they clink against each other when the wave pulls back.  In fact, I hear them “cry out.”

Over the years, I’ve brought home a few as tangible memories of my time on this beach.  For now my smooth stones lie immobile, no longer singing, no longer rolling, no longer tossed one against the other thousands of times daily.  I’ve stopped their inexorable transformation to seek comfort in their steadfast permanence.   I have dreams of a small rock garden, maybe a little waterfall, possibly a fish or two.  I have a plan for each stone I carry and cherish.

So too I cry out when I’m rolled over and over by life’s wave action, my rough edges worn down over the years.  Each day smooths me a little bit more, rounds my corners to a gloss, until such time I’m picked up and pocketed, perhaps on to a new adventure.

Then I will sing a new song.

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