Tuesday, October 20, 2020



photo by Christine Lowther

Spirit in the stone,
you sing to me
of bygone centuries
and ancient mystery.
Once you sat with other Grandfathers in the fire
in times that were so close to life and death.
Water splashed on stone and in the vapors
Spirit-prayers rose upon the Old Ones' breath.
The sacred smoke carried the prayers higher -
words of trust in sustenance and seasons -
up to the Spirit-world on wings of fire,
full of a gratitude that did not ask for reasons.
You once ringed communal fires upon the common,
where families came to take hot coals away,
carried them home to light their own hearth-fires
for needed warmth to keep the dark at bay.
You have known the ocean's roar, ice floe, volcano.
You have been a temple in another land.
Water and fire and earth and ice have honed you
til now you come and fit into my hand.
You connect my heart with all that has a spirit:
all that lies upon the ground and all that flies,
the Standing People and the winged ones,
those breathing peace and those soaring the skies.
Your ancient presence speaks an untold story,
has witnessed centuries of joy and pain.
I place you back on earth in testimony
to all that passes, all that will remain.

I have loved rocks all my life, feeling their connection to thousands of years ago. In my poem, I refer to the big rocks used in First Nations sweat lodges, heated in the fire, then water poured on them to make steam. In history, too, there once was a communal fire, that villagers would carry hot coals from to light their own hearth fires. Sharing light and warmth. I love that. For a time, I found heart-shaped rocks everywhere. I think that was a time when I was most heart-centered. 

Here in Tofino, and all along the coastline, there are a lot of black rock cliffs and mounds. The amazing thing is how wildflowers, small bushes and even trees grow out of the rock. Tenacity. Hope.


  1. Rocks have always felt like ancient spirits to me. They hold within them the history they have seen.

  2. This really is an inspiring write, Sherry.

  3. This reminded me of a lesson from grandmother regarding the "People of the Standing Stone". I often find stones with faces and once on a trail walking with grandmother I found one. I said "look there is face" she told me there is a spirit in that stone and you must ask permission to take it to a new home. I wondered, how will I know if it wants to go? She said, you will feel its energy if it doesn't want to go it might be hard to get out of the earth or you might drop it. I thought okay. I asked the stone "I wonder if you would like to travel with me? The strangest thing happened, the sun shone on it at that precise moment. I picked it up and said okay, I will give you a place of honor. I still have it today. I always ask now, and I have had a time where it didn't seem to want to go. Strange but, all things have energy and are connected.

  4. Yes, so true. I often see big faces in cliffs along the highway - especially did in the sand cliffs in the Okanagan.

  5. This is magical, Sherry. So much to see in something you can hold in your hand.

  6. A spellbinding, lyrical poem, Sherry, that reflects your love of rocks and stones, the skeleton of the earth. I too have felt that connection to the past and love that they let plants grow through them and split them – I wonder if that releases their spirits.

    Your poem also made me think of a radio serialisation of The Children of the Stones (a 1970's British television children’s fantasy drama) that is currently available on BBC Sounds. Once called the scariest TV programme for children, it’s about an astrophysicist, his teenage son and their adventures in a village built in the middle of a megalithic stone circle, and was filmed in Avebury, Wiltshire.

  7. I love the personal address in this to a nonhuman who has shared presence with the human tribe for generations. The imaginal history brings the speaker inside the mystery. Well done, Sherry.

  8. I enjoyed your poem. Stones and rocks do have an incredible presence sometimes. They can really transport us into other realities and into a deeper connection with the natural world. Suzanne of Mapping Uncertainty

  9. I love this. The poem and your postscript inspired a new awareness in me. Rarely did I think of rocks, as if stone were not a part of earth's history and deep being. Thank you for this Sherry.


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