What drove her to buy sixteen bags of 50# stones to begin a rock garden? Couldn’t zen stillness come more easily? Couldn’t she do walking meditation without all this trouble?
It wasn’t until the yard mistress was digging ground for a vegetable garden, putting unwanted rocks aside for some yet to be discerned purpose, that she remembered playing rock store with her brothers and sisters back in the 1950’s. They were storekeepers–independent business kids, trading rocks with one another. In the family driveway, there was merely gravel (seen from a grownup’s point of view) but to them there was beauty in those tiny flecks of color on the stones. Children decided what was beautiful; it was all in the perception. Parents had no say with the stones.
Half a century later, a grownup remembers her fascination with rocks. Of course, she now has a zen reason to justify her longing for a rock garden. There is truly no real need but she is retired and has time to create her own projects. She could use the stones as an excuse for work in her backyard. A rock garden would cut down on mowing. It would be a point of focus from the garden bench. The row of rocks along the back fence could be used for walking meditation. She saw her rock garden forming a microcosm of the creek beyond, with its rocks providing stability for the roar of the water.
Then there is the statue—female, some honored goddess. She believes her to be a form of Kwan Yin. She had been the centerpiece since the house in Northside years ago. She’d been moved from the front to the back, her stone head’s fallen off and been glued back—it hadn’t been the easiest journey for this goddess. Still, she cannot be ignored when one is sitting on the bench: a person comes face to face with her own divine self (it can’t be ignored). Now, besides the circle of stones surrounding the goddess, behind is a landscape of small calico rocks (for that’s what they’re called in their bags at Home Depot).
Working out at Victory Lady surely helped. Even though the 50# bags got wheeled across the yard with a dolly, they still had to be transferred from the car to the ground. Now the yard mistress got in touch with her Amazonian roots. Although she could hardly move the following day, she was grateful for her health to do this work, her rightful place in the universe, and rich material for sharing this story.