Make of the pebble what you will
He picked up a pebble from the many pebbles on the beach. He weighed it in his hand.
‘What is it?’ he asked.
‘A pebble,’ I told him.
‘Your mind makes of this pebble what it will,’ he said. ‘What you see here and call a pebble is many more things. It’s a fragment of a much bigger rock but it is complete in itself. It was part of a big rock a million years ago and the big rock, ten million years before, was part of a stratum of rock and sixty million years before that it was a boiling mass of molten rock. Fifty million years later the stratum lay exposed to the ice and was broken up and tumbled down a valley side and into a stream and, in winter torrents, the rock was broken again and tumbled down the stream into the river and into the sea. It has been rounded smooth by the river and the constant tides and waves of the sea, in another million years, if we put it back and nobody else takes it out, then it will have been ground away into sand. And once it is sand you might walk on it or its grains of rock might be taken up by a crab and built into its shell.
To a baby crab it is to be hidden under. To a whale it is too small to be seen and is of no interest. We can put it in a saucepan full of milk and the milk will not boil over. We can throw it at a dog which is attacking us. We can draw a picture on a white rock with it or we can take it home and use it as a paperweight. Or we can hold it and look at it and imagine a thousand stories. .
It has so many stories to tell and so many stories to wait for!
(My mind was set off along this path by Tahir Shah’s book, ‘In Arabian Nights’.)
Motikala Subba Dewan
I see them every day
Something forces me to notice them
A quick glance in a hurry
An automatic gesture!
On a single stem
Small flowers blooming of the same family
In two different colours - yellow and red
What a combination!
With the first kiss of morning sun
Water drops from the petals
Facing the world bravely
Raising their sticky heads
Amidst prickly thorns