The way that things stack up don’t always make sense. You look at a rock cairn and you see dissimilar shapes and textures and sizes. What doesn’t naturally fit together neatly and perfectly into one whole structure has the potential to allow for balance to offset the dissimilarities in size and shape.
Cairns represent a balance that requires delicacy and a measure of hope. They offer natural beauty presented in a random-deliberate-natural sort of way. A lot like life. They do not ask for some added adhesive that will make the balancing act a little easier. The rocks defy gravity by leaning on each other. Cairns have the potential to stand for a very long time. They represent the possibilities that I might have overlooked otherwise.
I am thinking that cairns in the right setting appeal to me. I do like to see them on the beach below high tide such that the tide will roll in and eradicate the evidence of man — restoring a different natural order. The ocean is persistent that way.
I have an old scale that I bought at an estate sale. This scale has seen better-balanced days. In order for the pointer to balance the beam, I had to add several tiny antique French coins in one of the weights pan. The coins bring everything up to true. Balance. What is it exactly? We seek it. We desire it. We believe that we would appreciate how it feels . . . if we could only be certain that we are actually experiencing it. There are books and poems and songs written about balance. Still, I do not know exactly what it means or how it feels in my life.
We weigh decisions. And justice. And mercy. And priorities. And options. We weigh fairness and love and life. We somehow intuit when something isn’t feeling quite right, so we start to mess with the scale. We add more coins. Or we pick up a different rock to add to the cairn. We deliberate. Or we sometimes say the-hell-with-it and just give it a go.
Life’s events tumble together, and my carefully-constructed towers of well-thought-out plans are strewn all willy-nilly. Sometimes I am left with the oddest of pieces to balance back together again. I see the beauty in the pile of rocks that are before me, and I seek guidance and allow my intuition to lead me.
I recently read a great Irish proverb: “A good laugh and a long sleep are the two best cures for anything.” I so agree. A good laugh is like medicine and a long sleep restores the body and the soul. Along the vein of cairns, I was thinking about which life blessings provide me with balance: laughter, sleep, forgiveness, appreciation, humility, kindness, patience, travel, adventure, discovery, learning, courage . . .
The way that things stack up at times doesn’t always make sense, but I continue to attempt to counterbalance with those things that point me to true.
3 thoughts on “The Way Things Stack Up”
This was/is thoughtfully pleasing to read. And I learned a new word: cairns. Thank you. 🙂 And the Irish Proverb is spot-on in my life.
Thanks, Eric. I agree with you. The proverb is just so aptly put. I try to wait until the morning to make any sort of big decision. A good night’s sleep always seems to fine tune my perspective. How many times have we made decisions when we are tired and depleted — only to have to undo the very decision when we are rested?! Certainly something that has happened to me. Thank you for your comment!
Hear, hear to getting a good night’s sleep. I know exactly the benefits that you cite! It’s one of those needs/matters I rarely compromise.