Stones On The Path

By November 14, 2015 Musings

There’s a story I heard once (I wish I remember where), that happened on a trail called the Camino de Santiago de Compostela in Spain.

For over 1000 years, people have walked this route: some in pilgrimage, some looking to “find themselves”, some escaping from circumstance or duty and some looking to reconnect with something long lost in themselves. The story went something like this:

A person walking the trail noticed, with frequency, small piles of stones alongside the trail. There was no particular order to them, and there really didn’t seem to be a purpose. The person found another traveller along the trail and asked: “Why are there so many small piles of stones along this trail?” The person said that these were piles of sorrow stones. Legend had it that, if you picked up a stone along the way, put all of your worries, fears, sadness or negative thoughts into the stone, and placed it down again somewhere en route, you would leave all your troubles behind.

I wish I knew where I remember the story from, but I don’t.

But ever since then, on every walk or hike I take, I pick up a stone, put any worries I might have into it, and leave it behind me.

The photo here is one of my small “Camino” piles, on one of my favorite hiking trails.

stones on a path

I like to think that, once I’ve put any of my worries into the stone,Mother Earth has a unique way of absorbing and refreshing the stone, such that it harms no one, and is given a “new life” itself; sorrow free…just like me.

Perhaps it is a tall tale I heard. Perhaps it is silly to think that a stone can absorb and wash away one’s troubles.

But I like the story, and I like the concept. So I always pick up a stone on my travels, rub it between my fingers, feeling its smoothness or roughness, admiring its shape and color, all the while placing any negative thoughts into it. By the time I’m ready to gently place it back down, I have a smile on my face. It’s very cathartic. I can’t explain why.  It just is.

Are you carrying burdens on your path in life?  Perhaps you will now leave them on the trail, just like the stones.

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