This I Believe

John - Washington, District of Columbia
Entered on November 12, 2006
Age Group: 30 - 50

I have a box of rocks. Smooth stones shaped by the patience of gravity and water. I’ve found them on beaches, where the profiles of lakes and oceans are drawn by the land. I choose them for their shapes, their unique patterns, and the way their cool surfaces feel in my hand and against my cheek. It’s the feeling of truth.

I believe them.

My life, like the lives of so many of us, moves at an unnatural pace. Impatient with the intransigence of the 24-hour day we split the second like the atom, and I wonder which collision has had more disastrous results.

While my heart may not race or my breath may not overtake me, my mind struggles against “the next thing.” Me? I’m propelled through space by ambition and internal combustion. A web page takes fractions of a glacial second to load. I’m driving 80 and always behind someone, or just behind.

But then in a blur of yellow and red I’m reminded the leaves are changing as one is lifted by the wind and floats through space and time with no will or agenda. I think of the wind – invisible if not for its influence – and how, with the help of the moon, it’s able to organize the density of an ocean into waves. Steady and sure. Waves oblivious to the insistence of men like me to live more in less time.

If I stop to look long enough, I sometimes find a lesson left by the wind and waves. A small, smooth stone I keep to remind me that there exists indisputable truth and beauty large enough to believe in, yet small enough to fit in the palm of my hand.