You know that pebble in your shoe, that one that you have to take a stick to the treads in the bottom of your shoe to dig out? How about that one that you use for a door stopper because it is heavy, awkward, and so nicely does the job? Or how about that little rock that you put in a garden simply to make your yard nicer? Ever think about it? Have you ever thought about the fact that the little pebble that can so annoy you, will be on this earth a hell of a lot longer than you?
It’s easy to remember that the oceans or the mountains are old, and will remain so long after you have left this earth. They are majestic, powerful, beautiful. It is almost imperative that they remain constant. But what about that small, round, and sometimes quite lovely rock that really has no function in life? The pebble has no soul, it has no heart, it can’t breathe or make sense of the world. It goes on what are probably fascinating journeys, seeing things that we can only imagine, and yet it is insignificant to us.
Sometimes it is the little things that remind me that I am a transient and fragile thing. Humans are incredibly fragile, we are dying or losing our way constantly. We are never just propped up against a door and told to stay there, we are never dug into the earth awaiting the next animal that will bring us to the light. We have souls that perish, life that falls, and light that darkens. We are easily lost, easily found. We are easily built, and easily destroyed.
I think the brand new year is an excellent time for me to remember that I truly don’t have long on this earth. I will not last as long as that little pebble, and I will only get a brief window to enjoy the catalytic beauty of a perfect sunset. I won’t see the rain a hundred years from now, and I won’t see the smiles of those that will be born from my greats. I will not be privy to the secrets of the universe, and I won’t succeed in anything but this simple life.
And there is so much to do! How dare I waste one day on sleeping? Even when I am sick, shouldn’t I be running down the streets looking for my next adventure? Even when life throws me a curve shouldn’t I be laughing with all the muscles in my belly? Even when the world quiets, shouldn’t the sound of my song be heard?
There isn’t enough time to do it all. There isn’t enough moments to capture all that I want to see; because the truth is there are dishes to be done. The truth is there are children to raise, and groceries to buy. There are things that I take comfort in despite the fact they will not attribute to the awesome my life could be.
And just like that pebble there are things that will wither me, things that will change me, and things that will make me look, feel and seem completely different. In that, the pebble and I are just alike.
Despite the fact that I will not live as long as that pebble in my shoe, I can take a moment to look at that pebble and think of all the places that it one day will be. And wonder about all the places I might see that pebble again.