24 October 2014

Pebbles are amazing things

They come in all sizes.  They come in different shapes.  And they come in many colors too.  We walk on them, kick them aside and sometimes even spit on them.  They don’t seem to mind of course.  Perhaps that’s because we really don’t notice them or because they seem too insignificant in our lives.  Perhaps it is because there are so many of them.  You can find them anywhere, after all. 

Pebbles.  They are small.  Now mountains, they are big.  They have names. Pebbles don’t have names.  Maybe that’s why we don’t notice them or take them seriously.  Maybe we think that only things that are named need to be thought about, talked about and written about. 

Technically speaking pebbles are small stones whose surfaces have been made smooth by water or wind.  The smoother ones are found in river beds.  It doesn’t happen overnight of course. We are speaking of centuries and millennia.  And lots of water.   In general though we use the word ‘pebbles’ to refer to not-so-smooth stones. 

Just pick one up.  It won’t take you a second.  You can spare a few minutes to think about it, right?  You can start by asking a bunch of questions.

‘Where did this come from?  What was it like and where was it a thousand years ago? How about a million years ago?  Was this once a part of a large rock which rolled down a mountain which was washed to the sea several million years ago?  Was there an earthquake that split a massive boulder into tiny pieces?  Did the sun and rain get together one quiet evening and plot its destruction with the play of hot and cold?  What brought it here (instead of, for example, the garden next door)?  They seem to be the same color, but why are there shapes so varied?’

Pick one up.  Touch it.  Roll it between your fingers.  Pick another with your other hand.  Touch it. Roll it between your fingers.  Close your eyes.  Is it the same texture?  Is there a little something in one (that is absent in the other) that makes the encounter of skin on stone special?  Hold it tight.  Open your palm slowly so that the pebble won’t slip off it.  It’s the world that you are holding on your palm. 

Look at it again.  Isn’t it beautiful?  Can you see trees and flowers, butterflies and rabbits, rivers and valleys, the breaking of waves on rocks by a splendid beach, a bird and a dolphin, ships, towers, bridges and railway tracks?  Hold it to your ear.  Can you hear the music of rain, the flutter of wings as a flock of birds take flight, the trumpeting of an elephant and the chanting of pirith?
If you are in the sun, go seek shade.  Look at it again.  Hasn’t the world changed all its colors all over again?  Put some water into a glass.  Drop the pebble into it.  It’s our earth that dropped and it’s been cleaned.  Take the glass (with the pebble in it) into the sun.  Isn’t it pretty? 

The next time you are in a crowd, maybe in a classroom or a bus stop, a train or a carnival, close your eyes and imagine that it’s not people that surround you but pebbles.  Different sizes. Different colors. Different textures.  And in each and everyone, there are trees, wildness, laughter, melody and stories from long ago that have yet to be told.  When you open your eyes, maybe you’ll find that the world has been painted afresh in that fraction of a second your eyes were closed.  If you do, you would smile.

There’s so much you can do with pebbles.  They can teach us so much, but only if we are ready to 



Anonymous said...

Oh! Dear Pebble ,

I know you did not want to change , but sun, moon, wind, fire ,trees ,creatures all changed you . That is why you look so beautiful .BTW were you able to get the soft touch of the enlighten one's, buddha's feet , Didn't you hear the 'Sri Sambuddha Wachanya " Surely you did .

You are great.Greater than us Because you are still a silent simple pebble.

දේශක යා said...

Thanks Malinda