09.10.13 After living in Montana for seventeen years, good friends from our Colorado Springs neighborhood (and the judge who married us!) came to visit us for the first time. We’ve stayed in touch with our annual visits back home and the reunions which occur at weddings and funerals, plentiful over this long period of time. But, we’ve never had this kind of time together. We boated and floated on the lake, sat by the campfire at sunset, hiked in Glacier National Park. And we talked. About the past seventeen years, about the future, about death and loss. And, about hopes and wishes, faith and love.
Everyone who comes here is enchanted by the smooth rocks lying at the bottom of the clear cool waters in Flathead Lake. They have tumbled down the mountains into cold glacial streams and finally are deposited on the lakebed. Guests have left little cairns on the bedside tables and window ledges in the bedrooms. The grandkids like to collect shapes which look like fish or color them with markers to see if they will wash back to them on shore when thrown out into the water. At a going-away gathering for a dear friend, she found a heart rock to take with her on her journey to a new state. I’ve carried one in my purse on travels to London, hoping I could stay grounded to myself when far away from my home place.
And, Debi told me about stones with white rings around them, and said that if you find enough to complete a circle, your wishes will come true. She also picks up heart rocks and lucky pennies and circles her wrists in bracelets with words such as “faith” and “love” etched into the precious metals of silver and gold. After she left, I found this stone circle down by the water on top a large rock at water’s edge. If I place that one stone into the circle, it will be complete, making all her wishes come true. They live on the edge of grave illness in their children, yet in life-affirming celebration that their girls are alive, thriving beyond all expectations. Every day is a gift to be lived to the fullest, in both its joys and sorrows, always believing that wishes do come true.
I’ll keep my eye on these stones through this winter’s storms and the icy wind-swept waves. The circle will undoubtedly be broken by Spring. But the wishes, and covenants of faith, will float and tumble in the water, out into the Universe, where they ultimately must belong. And I’m left with this circle of friendship. After nearly two decades and all these miles of separation, circles of love stay unbroken.