My father loved the quiet--he loved the ocean, he loved walking, he loved flying kites. He was one of two people in my life who I felt completely myself with--completely at ease and at peace.
I remember us walking along the beach--he would pick up a stone and hold it in his hand or carry it in his pocket until he found one he liked more. Then, with what looked like honor, he would let go of the other stone. He never carried more than one--if he discovered a better match, he'd replace the last.
As I walked along the water today, I found myself doing the same thing. I picked up a beautiful stone--one right for me and worthy of taking home. Then I saw one I liked more so with honor, I let the first one go. By the end of my walk I'd left four stones behind, and in my pocket only one remained. Almost perfectly round, strong like rock and smooth like satin, and when I held it in my hand I felt more myself than I had before--completely at ease and at peace.