A friend once gave me a lumpy grey rock
That was shaped like a heart.
Ever since then I’ve been looking
For another one, one with vibrant colour,
Not just a regular, run of the mill rock,
But a PERFECT heart rock.
Last week, while walking in the rain
Another friend picked up a rock
And passed it to me
A heart rock, she said,
They’re easy to find.
It was wet, cold, and flecked with grey,
Imperfect, uneven, misshapen.
I took it into my hand with doubt,
We kept walking along the beach
And my friend passed me more rocks.
I packed them in my old blue knapsack
Until it got heavy and began to weigh
My steps in the tide soaked sand.
I started to laugh at myself
At my inane need
To collect, categorize and assess
Making choices about what to accept,
And what to discard.
It reminded me that
I often look too hard,
Carrying a zillion demands of perfection and expectations
Learning the hard way
That the judgements and certainties
that I carry about with such comfort
may in fact be totally wrong.
It just goes to show
That a friend and a cold little rock,
Or a bagful of them,
Can help me to think differently
on a rainy day
at the beach.
Photograph ©Janice Henshaw 2014