Lesson from a Rock

Once upon a time I was walking along a field, when a big stone, or maybe I should call it a small rock, caught my eye. I picked it up, as I’m wont to do, and took it home with me. I was just about to put it onto my windowsill, when a thought struck me: “Maybe he doesn’t want to be here? What if he’s now angry at me? Hurt, because I took him away without asking?”

Now. This was years before I started on my journey of woo, more than a decade before I fell head over heels into Druidry, so imagine my surprise when the rock began … to laugh. Chin firmly stuck to the floor, I looked on, until, once he’d caught his non-breath, he started to speak.

“Now, you realize what a thoroughly human notion this is, right? I am a stone. I am experiencing being a stone. If you pick me up and chuck me onto the compost heap, I won’t be hurt or wonder why you hate me or what I’ve done wrong. I will simply carry on being a stone – a stone that has been chucked unto a compost heap.”

Maybe I should end this story here, seeing as no punch line will be coming your way, but Awen demands that I add to this story.

Long since this day it has become my reality that, without a doubt, the world around us is animated. Animals have soul and consciousness. Plants have soul and consciousness. Stones, rocks and mountains do. But animals, plants, minerals (and, as far as my experience goes, husbands) are pretty much what-you-see-is-what-you-get. There is no double standard, no second guessing, no implication buried beneath the surface. They don’t cling to life the way we do, they readily accept their fate: they simply keep being what they are and experience what they are experiencing.

A terminally ill person will go through the stages of grief until she can finally accept her fate, much more readily than her family and friends can. This does not mean she is happy about it, does not mean she likes it, does not mean this is what she wished for herself. But there is acceptance and peace with whatever will happen.

And so it is with the world around us. Don’t mistake their silence and this ready acceptance of their fate for complacency or consent.

Ask yourself.

This rock was born thousands of years, hundred of thousands, maybe million of years before you. Ages ago he split his individual consciousness from the collective rock consciousness to which he remains tethered, and now, this rock sees you. He notes your actions, your non-actions.

And long long after you are gone, when maybe our acidic oceans are void of life and earth itself nuked into a wasteland where, once again, only bacteria and protozoans thrive, this rock, and through him the mineral world to which he is connected, will still retain his memory of you.

Ask yourself. Who do you want him to remember?


Text and images by Saille Freeling

Saille has been wandering along spiritual and mystic paths for the past two decades until she found her home in OBOD. She calls herself bard-in-training; in real life she is a biologist and editor.

3 thoughts on “Lesson from a Rock

  1. Hi, again. 🙂 Thanks for tidying up my previous comment. Would you be surprised to learn that the Catholic Church teaches that plants and animals have souls? I think a lot of Catholics would be surprised because it isn’t widely taught. I can’t say that I understand it properly yet myself. Anyway, Church scholars like Thomas Aquinas have covered the matter in detail if anybody reading this wants to investigate further. I just found this article that covers the basics if you’re interested: https://arabicphilosophyjkh.wordpress.com/category/st-thomas-aquinas-and-the-nature-of-the-soul/


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