I have a stack of rocks on my desk. They’re round and smooth, flattish and bright white, ranging in size from a gorilla footprint to a hamster. If a hamster could ever be flattish. But I keep them there because they remind me of the day I met God.
My mom and I had taken a rare “chick-trip” vacation to the Abaco Islands when I was in my early 20’s, and at one point she took a nap and I’d wandered on down to the beach. We were on a relatively deserted property off-season, so I was alone as I walked along the shore and spotted a small dark spot in the distance out in the ocean.
The tide was down and I waded out towards it, discovering that it was a tiny island! I kept walking and as I drew near I could see the white sands of its shore, and hear the noise the breezes made as they tousled the palm trees like lazy fingers through lazier hair. The island had a hill formation and was lush with flowering plants.
Eventually I set foot on dry land and was startled to find myself so alone- where I’d come from, the main island, suddenly seemed very far away. As I explored the terrain, I began to TOUCH everything, flooding my senses with the feel of limestone and bark. I climbed a tree and stared out at the turquoise waters, enjoying the shadowplay acted out by darting fish. NO ONE ELSE WAS THERE… so I took my clothes off. You know. Like ya do.
WHEEEEEEE!!! If a person can cavort, I was cavorting like a madwoman- leaving my swimsuit hanging in the branches, I leapt from the tree and RAN, racing barefoot with abandon along the beach- I yelled and whooped, making as much noise as I’ve ever dared to make simply because I COULD. Forgetting clothes and society entirely, I climbed hand-to-foot naked Mowgli style up to the top of the small hill and stood at the very top, feeling the warm sun on my skin and the breeze in my hair- I felt completely one with everything I’d been touching.
I felt absolutely beautiful- completely connected with this tropical wonderland- and as alone as I was, I was flooded with a sensation of being loved.
At that moment, I was filled with the most radiant sensation of pure adoration and unconditional love- it was exhilarating- like I was meeting God for the first time, and God was saying, “I’ve been here all along, just waiting for you to notice.”
Hugged and enveloped by the breeze, I stood for an eternity enjoying the purity of the embrace. During that time, I was the only creature in the world- I had the full attention of the Universe, and in noticing one another we merged. I was the only person in the world.
After a while, the sun began to shift and dip, and I remembered that the tide would come in and darkness might change how I felt about my isolation. I grudgingly realized that I had to go back.
I turned my feet towards where I vaguely recalled leaving my swim suit, and there, on the ground at the top of the hill, was a small rock formation I had not noticed before- these 5 alabaster stones had been stacked and lay waiting, baking in the golden light of the fading afternoon. SOMEONE ELSE had been there. SOMEONE ELSE had felt what I’d felt. And this person had left a sign for others.
I did not feel like my moment had been cheapened. In fact, a grin spread across my face as I realized with wonder that the beauty of Infiniteness is in its Infinite Nature. There is so much beauty and love in the world- a hundred thousand souls could enjoy what I enjoyed in the same exact manner- (and maybe HAVE!) – KNOWING that they were loved and for whatever reason, BELONGED there, in that time, doing exactly what they were doing. I was so moved by the gesture, the handshake introduction to my Creator and the token left behind of whatever prior soulmate had shared my experience, that I gathered some different rocks and made another stack.
I, too, was there. I was so loved- and there is so much love in the world, there will be enough for everyone. I left my stack behind as my message to whoever was next, and carried the first stack down the hill.
I cradled the stack as I waded back to the main land, and carefully wrapped them in my clothes to travel home with me.
The rocks still travel home with me, to whatever home I’m in. Everywhere I’ve lived, I have them in a place I can see them everyday as a reminder of the Infinite Love I felt that day. When I feel lost or alone, they serve as proof that on that day I was shown absolute grace and wonder, and that I deserve to be here. Wherever “here” may be.