Melinda Coppola

twenty four may | from the inside out

Melinda Coppola

twenty four may | from the inside out

Dear reader, is there something in the natural world that you are really drawn to? Birds, clouds, pine trees? Lightening storms? Is there something for which you have an unrelenting affection? For, me, it’s stones. Specifically, I’m drawn to stones that hail from the edges of the sea.

I feel so very alive and content when I am walking on a stone strewn beach, or when I am crouching over them, admiring their myriad patterns and shapes, colors and textures. When I’m in communion with these rounded beauties, I have no age, no name, no agenda. I am not weighed down with layers of labels and hurry-ups and I’d-better-nots. The stones­­­­­­­—all colors, sizes, and shapes of them– touch a place deep inside me that feels like it’s been alive forever.  My relationship with them is simple and straightforward. I adore them, I respect them, I’m in awe of them. I also delight deeply and earnestly in my time with them, and…. I know them to be alive. They vibrate at a much slower rate than humans do, but they have life nonetheless.

I collect them, but only if they tell me they want to be gathered. My hands and eyes move towards the stones I am drawn to, and sometimes the vibration coming from a stone feels like a definitive NO, don’t take me. Not today. And so I don’t pick that one up, or if I already have I’ll place it gently back down with a silent thank you. Sometimes they are happy to be put into my bag or bucket, and other times it seems they are entirely neutral.

When I am on a beach that is home to stones, preferably in the early morning or late afternoon, I feel like I am surrounded by the most exquisite jewels the Earth has to offer. Who needs diamonds, when there are such gems as these, smoothed by time and water and wind and imbued with a wisdom I cannot adequately describe.

I have thousands of stones in my home and yard. When I have the time and feel the calling, I make art with them. Cairns, specifically—intentional stacks. Here again, the stones guide me in the process. Some want to go together, some are neutral. Some will make it quite clear they do not want to be placed on top of that rock, or in that cairn.

I used to just balance the stones, and I do have some cairns that live that way for a long time. About ten years ago, the thought of gluing them together came to me. I felt my way through that idea, and then brought it to the stones, not knowing how they would feel about being glued. Their radiated answer? Yes, glue is OK. A decade of our time seems to be like a few moments of theirs, and their languid vibrations do not react the way ours might. My deeper sense is that, if they are glued in a cairn and the time comes for them to be free again, the cairn will simply break apart.

My stone love brings me peace.  I’m grateful for their steady reminder that true strength and real balance can coexist in unlimited combinations of color, size and shape.

So, reader dear, what calls you out of doors, what helps you stay grounded when the ways of the peopled world feel oppressive or overwhelming? You can email me privately by replying to this blog, or you can leave a comment below or on Facebook. I do so love to hear from you.

Melinda Coppola

8 Responses

  1. Stones and rocks for me too! And they talk to me too! I love to paint and decorate them but never do i cover them completely…they need to breathe and don’t like to be all covered up!
    Next time you visit I’ll bring you to a WONDERFUL stone beach!! Mucho love to you dear Melinda❤


    I call them “living rocks!” As in, the stones are alive. Or life is good. I get what you mean about listening and choosing the rocks. I made hundreds of stones in the river that spring. It helped me to lose myself during difficult times and to appreciate the life in what some would consider inanimate. The innate sense that there is soul in the stones and they move through the river. To be found, built and like I said in the video they would fall back into the river eventually. The cairns wouldn’t last forever, much like families, communities and civilizations. They would one day fall, by the forces of nature and continue their journey beyond the life of our mortal bounds. It was an exercise, an art and a form of mantra for me. To build them and watch them fall. To find them and then lose them. To let go of what you cannot control and give up what can’t be owned. To admire the beauty of nature. And dip my feet in the river. To feel the energy of the current and discover something new each day. The river was my slate, the stones my paint and the cairns were my paintings. A temporary display that made a lasting effect on the community around me, by exposing the beauty of nature brought by the spirit of the Bow River. Cool article. Thanks for sharing. What a sweet connection we have 🙂

  3. I totally get all of this!!! I find heart shaped rocks everywhere. Some are gifts. I will my look down and they will be at the tip of my shoe. I collect these as I do feel they are gifts! Others are embedded in the ground or even so very large that they just need to stay where they are to be enjoyed by others!
    I love your cairns and find they beautiful. I am also a grateful recipient of one which is place on my alter (of sorts) and I look at it everyday.
    Peace my Friend

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *