I was given a handful of stones for inspiration, and asked to write an autobiography as an exercise at a meeting. Instead of marking my life with 2010 – my cancer year, I realized I needed a couple of handfuls of stones to mark my journey – the rocks I had overcome. Reflecting into younger years , immigration, the hard road to medicine, I realized that they were training hills for my big mountain. The determination I developed to get back up when I failed in those years had shaped me with perseverance that would define me.
And so, I lined up each pebble – each rock surmountable, some so big like cancer and the second cancer, followed by more and more rocks . Each stone was ok as I put it in my pocket but, all together, I could hardly stand with the weight of the stones – they were tearing my pockets. I realized that to carry them, I had to lighten the load – give some to others who had strength to carry them. The secret to healing was to take one of the stones, feel it and remember it then place it in a special place with no need to constantly carry it or build an inuksuk to help others see that something constructive can come from my rocks. Maybe one day I will even watch them disappear into the water as I am comfortable returning them to the lake. For now, I am reminding myself of the tactile beauty and hardness as I feel them on my desk – symbolic. They will stay there for a while I think; I am coming to peace with my rocks – seeing their beauty, not feeling their burden.
Take some rocks and name their significance, hold them together in your hand and feel the weight – you can manage for a few minutes but after a while they feel heavy. Now try holding them away from you – the pain increases. Share your stones with people you love and they will share your burden…..