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Rock Meditations
Some healing energy arrives

I'm doing rock work again. Ten years ago I made some serious rock walls, but since then my health hasn't been up to it. Then a few months ago my nutritionist suggested I try a new supplement, called Pyridoxine Alpha-Ketoglutarate, to help my liver break down and excrete the waste products of exercise. One of the "side effects" is that I have more energy. Altogether, it's been such a blessing to me that I sometimes feel like my fairy godmother has waved her magic wand. (Thank you, universe, for responding to my appeal for better support / nourishment / healing. [To read about that meditation, go here.])

Using it

Coincidentally right now I have a job I need to do, that needs strength and energy. The hedgerow between my yard and Pearl Russell's — that was choked with weeds a year ago — was a blank canvas this spring. In the 15-foot width, it slopes about 15 inches, so I decided to build a couple of wide, low terraces with rows of rocks to retain the soil.

As I write this, the terraces are about half done: the retaining rocks are in place along the whole 50 feet of the lower level, along with steps up to that level in three locations. Now I'm starting on the upper level.

Impatience creeps in

Underestimating how long it would take to do this land-sculpturing, I bought a lot of plants to put in the new beds; they're sitting on the front porch outgrowing their little pots and needing water several times a day. Out of concern for them, (and, yes, out of my own exhaustion) I have observed myself thinking, "I'll be glad when this is done." I will, of course, but I also realized that focusing on that loses the fun for me of the building. After all, I do love the meditation of fitting the rocks together, appreciating each one's textures and crystals and colors, and finding the right place for it to show its beauty.

Good concentration also helps avoid pinching toes and fingers and tripping over the rocks lying around waiting to be used. I'm letting a lot of the garden's normal maintenance slide, so that I can have long stretches of time to focus on this work.

Creative avoidance

Ironically, just now I have had three new Garden Troopers* sign up; one is experienced but the other two need a lot of supervision and training. I'm committed to doing that; not only to develop good help, but also to pass gardening on. So I spent one afternoon doing fiddly things (that also needed doing) instead of rock meditation, because I was needed every so often to answer questions and show technique.

I thought I was going to get back to the rocks immediately, but somehow I found myself doing a little laundry (those gardening clothes get dirty fast)... and planting some things in an out-of the way end of the lower level, where there's no upper level; and cooking batches big enough that I could eat off them for a few days (so I can spend more time in the garden).... Till I finally realized I was creatively avoiding the next stage of the work, which was to build some more stairs, with really big rocks, so heavy I can't lift them but have to rock them back & forth, tip them on edge & roll them, etc. I was intimidated by the big rocks.


In fact, I found myself thinking again "I'll be glad when this part is done." So to help myself relax and get back into the meditation of it, I decided to focus on grounding, using the mantra "Me Earth mother, move-um Rock!"

It was wildly successful. I had no trouble moving the heaviest ones, and finished the stairs at the right end of the wall. Now I'm working back to the left. I just got a friend to help me with a really tricky one that slanted so far to the left that it wouldn't stand up by itself until I got the next one slid in under it. She had to hold it up for me so I could situate the next one. But I wanted that top-heavy slanted one in just that position, because it had a lovely cascade of crystals pouring down the side that's now facing front.

May all your tasks give you useful meditation....

© copyright Catherine Holmes Clark 1999; last updated 11 June 1999

*Garden Trooper: the term Ward coined for the neighborhood youngsters I employ in the garden.