There are days marked in our lives with white stones. We can never forget them. Recollections, a very easy effort of memory, seem to bring back even in some measure the very thrill, the same pulsations and emotions, as were kindled into life by certain never-to-be-forgotten happenings. Time cannot weaken them. Whilst we have life the memory of them is eternal. And there are other days against the memory of which we have dropped a black stone. We shrink from anything which may recall them. No sacrifice would seem too great if only we could set the seal of oblivion upon those few hated hours. We school ourselves to close our eyes, and turn our heads away from anything which might in any manner recall them to us.
–The Yellow House, E. Phillips Oppenheim
I close my eyes, and see my life in footsteps, walking down the path of my days as Hansel and Gretel, leaving a trail of carefully laid stones behind. Here I drop a small white stone, there a few more, here a black stone, another white; some large, some small, images of events through which I’ve walked in the moments that lie before today.
I sit listening to the story of an acquaintance. I do not know the stories of this life, but I see a glimpse that reminds me that stories lie tucked away in the speaker’s heart. I remember we all have a story, littered with joys and pain.
I read chapters from an old book, as I lay safely nestled in my bed. I am reminded that our journey is unpredictable and bound towards a mixture of triumph and tragedy.
While the black stones are unmistakable, they are but moments in our long life. The white stones outnumber and shine like goodness. No matter what stones lay on your path of life, life is long and deep and full of redemption.
My children grow and flourish, my family is held in love. My baby walks and dances to Elmo. My daughter grows too big for me to carry and prepares for school. My son spins on his head and enters Kindergarten. My husband publishes his books and holds me tight. My friends are close and full of laughter. My life is so good and so full, built of a journey taken step by fumbling step.
The ghosts that we knew made us all black and all blue, But we’ll live a long life. And the ghosts that we knew will flicker from view, And we’ll live a long life. -“Ghosts That We Knew”, Mumford & Sons
Trail of Stones, pastel on card