In my imaginings, one creative soul tucked in the first rock and then others joined in, searching the ground for heart-shaped stones and adding them to the collection.
The tree reminded me of a Dharma talk I heard a while back. Heather talked about how we live in a teeming energy field. Everything is alive with energy. We are part of the ingredients in a giant pot of energy soup, if you like. Her question to us was, when the going gets tough (or anytime really) it's good to ask ourselves what do we want to contribute to the energy field? What do we want to contribute to the energy soup, a bitter, slightly off ingredient or something sweet and tasty.
I loved this question as something to ask myself as I go about my day. And I had the opportunity to answer it as I spent Friday in the city doing errands; getting a haircut, doing banking, buying vitamins, and generally rushing about before overnighting with a friend. As I ate a muffin and walked down a busy street I decided to pass a fellow walking a little more slowly than I. As I passed him, he picked up his pace. This felt oddly uncomfortable, so I picked up mine. And then I heard a quiet, but not too quiet voice say, "Do you always cut people off?" In my mind I had not cut him off as I did not tuck myself back in front of him but somehow he felt cut off. Quickly my mind thought I have an opportunity here. So I slowed down and said, "did it feel like I cut you off, that was not my intention. I apologize if that's how it seemed. Really what I am doing is rushing about doing a bunch of errands." And at that point we began a little chat, remarked on the sunny day and when we parted at the stop lights, he wished me a nice day. It was my impression that I had not sent him on his way to stew about how rude and inconsiderate people are and that perhaps he even felt a bit cheered by our exchange. I felt like I had added at least a pinch of something wholesome to the energy soup. In the past I probably would have shrugged and thought, he's having a bad day and carried on.
So I offer this to you, this little question, that can be answered in tiny ways, like my walking experience or in large ways, especially with dear ones. What are you adding to the energy soup? A great thought I find, when things get a bit dicey.