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Which Pebbles Do I Keep?



Which Pebbles Do I Keep? Okay, let’s play an imagination game. If this was an audible post, I’d say, “Now, close your eyes.” But, of course, that wouldn’t work, so, please, join me by closing your figurative eyes and let’s collect some pebbles. Imagine you are standing shin deep in a beautifully clear stream. It’s cool yet inviting. You look down; your feet look a touch bigger than normal. They’d look weird if you weren’t so used to wading in this brook, but by now you’ve grown accustomed to seeing your enlarged feet dancing in the water’s distortion. In your brook, you also see pebble upon pebble upon pebble, differing in shapes, sizes, and colors, and mostly smooth due to the gentle caress of nature and time. With your gaze turned downward, find that special pebble that catches your eye. Reach in, pick it up. Hold it in your hand. Now run your fingertips gently over it as it floats in your hand. Calming, isn’t it? If you brought a bag, drop the pebble in the bag. If not, a pocket will do. Look down into your stream again.

Or pick a new stream, or a beach, or a trail.

Imagine you've been doing this for a lifetime.


Which no doubt you have in some form. Your pace and style of pebble gathering will be uniquely yours. Occasionally, someone will join in and offer you one or two of theirs. At some point, your pockets will be full and you’ll return to eagerly spread out your pebbles, much like it’s Halloween night. Imagine yourself now assessing your lifetime bounty. You might ask yourself the following questions: Which one do I like best? Which ones have grown on me? Which ones don’t look so pretty now that they are out of the water? Which ones make me want to share it with someone special? Which ones make me wonder, ‘now why did I pick that pebble up?’ And as we continue to roll these stones around in our hands and these questions in our mind, we pause . . . cock our head . . . and ponder: These pebbles in our bag, could they be a metaphor of my life? Have I been picking up pebbles all along? Which of my pebbles has someone given to me? What ones are still beautiful? Which ones look entirely different now that the luster of life’s water has dried and faded from upon it? Which ones cause me to step back in wise reflection and wonder 'does that pebble serves me now?' Am I still sharing some of my best pebbles with others? And finally, we are no longer imagining. Our eyes are open and we ask ourselves, which pebbles do I keep?

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