Sunday, March 27, 2011

The Recycle of Life

Stones have definite seasons. They are all about rebirth too. They wait every day just like the plants until their time comes.In spring they peek out from their wintry homes where they've laid nestled in the ground and begin to warm themselves in the protracted rays of sunlight.
They eagerly anticipate being picked up and put back into the wall or taken off somewhere close by to be used in a new wall.

Fieldstones are the wingless harbingers of newness, they are like stone eggs, the eggs of some stone Phoenix perhaps – humble tokens in the 'Re-cycle of Life'. I can hear Elton John singing a re-cycled version of the song already.

I remember picking stones out of the fields every spring on the farm.
We loaded them in the tractor and carried them off to the side of the field and just dumped them.
I'd ponder the variety of shapes and couldn't convince myself they were all useless.
As each one passed through my hand I'd ask myself "What can I do with this one?"

I found out slowly that stones 'know what they are about'. It took me even longer to find out what my relationship was to them. Even then it took years of doing stone and brick restoration, years of working with them until I ended up becoming a waller.
It's not the money, not the honour, nor the pride of workmanship even, it's the being close to such sane loyal undemanding, totally inspiring parcels of matter on a day to day basis.

It's about the genuineness of the relationship between the animate and the inanimate.
Hours of picking stones off the land makes you peaceful, keeps you simple and ever contemplating. Stones teach you to wait for change.

They teach you tolerance too.Just the pleasure of gathering rocks alone and the knowing you are going to be able to find ways for you and them to work together– this can be the best part of your day.


  1. Just found myself nodding, saying yes,I know, and smiling in agreement. When you meet stone it is an empowering, renewing relationship - huge as the mountains, tiny as a fragment and everything inbetween - you're reborn with new wisdoms.

  2. Thanks Donna. Have you read some of the previous stone wall poems on this blog?