If you follow the curves of the River Esk a few miles upstream from my home, you’ll find these water carved rocks. Huge blocks of iron rich stone, thoughtfully cut by the passage of water and time. The easiest softest route travelled over and over again as though the rain developed a habit.
Here in this soft dell the sunlight warms the stones which have been shaped and placed by mans hands. Taken from their earthen beds, split with wood and steel, and then laid into rows to rest once more.
These are the outer walls of Roslin Castle, perched high above the red river, built into the exposed rock bed. Ice and rain and wind have polished and picked at the man made structure, softening its sharp edges, rubbing it gently back into the earth. Yet most of the stones stay, content with the place they have been given.
Far below the river pours through its gorge, cut so deeply into the rock, that it splits the land clean in two. Molecule by molecule the water drops have scrubbed away the hard stone as though it was soft butter. Each splash follows the one before, along a route which has been carved by habit. The river rocks are smooth and polished by the repetition.
This crystal has been cut so that light dances in rainbows from its faces. Liberated from its dark home beneath the earth it now hangs from a holly branch, enticing us forwards along the path with its glittering light.
And here it is, the rock carved with wishes and dreams. Each mark begs for life’s pattern to be changed, cut into a new shape.
This is something we all have the power to do, if only we realise. The habits we follow, the routes we take with our thoughts and actions, can become deep habits, seemingly impossible to change. However if we focus our intent and cut a new route we can change anything we choose. First we have to notice what we are doing. We have to slip out of autopilot and begin to notice these habitual choices we make. Mindfulness can help us to become aware, so that we have a choice, rather than blindly following old habits. Drop by drop we can carve the rocks in our lives into smoother softer shapes, until it feels the way we wish.