Way of the Shaman


Moving the Stone

Mum collapsed at home in June 2001. Suddenly she was very weak. She couldn't eat without nausea, and speaking was an effort. The doctors thought she might have picked up a bug, and would recover with rest. But ten days later she was in hospital and paralysed with cancer.

During her last week at home, I noticed one day she was missing. I called out and searched the rooms, and then went outside. She was coming up the path by the side of the garage, carrying four large stones - completely exhausted.

I thought it was crazy. I would have moved the stones. But she had slipped out quietly on a last bid for independence.

The stones fell to the ground, and I gave her my arm to return to the house. Six months later, I saw them again on the path. I wanted to put them where she had intended, but that was lost. So I picked up the smallest stone, and it came to rest on the dressing table in my bedroom.

There it stayed for four years, dusted occasionally, until the day a weekend course required us each to bring 'an approximately grapefruit sized rock'.

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