Somewhere in the depths of my storage shed, or perhaps in one of the few boxes that I brought to my room, there is an owl made of bloodstone. A necklace charm that I have spoken about before, and I want to speak about again.

See, when I bought it there was this weight over me. This world crushing sadness that kind of invaded my heart and wouldn’t leave. Because of that, I found myself on a different path than I anticipated at the time. I found myself a bit lost and really confused at what I had been building my life towards.

As the months passed, they collected together and became a year, then the days kept going and built up. We are on the verge of two years since I bought that rock and I still think about it almost every day. See, for those of you who don’t know the story of the bloodstone I’ll repeat it briefly here. I’ve been friends with this girl for a handful of years who I am incredibly close to. Some time ago, she broke the news to me that she was pregnant and it changed my perception of her, and because my perception of her changed it had changed my perception of everything else in my life at the time. I had gone to the local Motorcycle Jamboree and purchased this bloodstone carved in the shape of an owl from a hippy lady that lived a few towns over and sold her crystals and rocks and trinkets at the Jamboree every year.

As I was purchasing it from her, she began speaking to me as if she knew my exact situation and all of the things that I was feeling at the time. She nailed every emotion and as much as it frightened me, she almost nailed the thoughts in my head. I ended that night with a big hug from her and a firm handshake from her husband as I went on to continue living.

So, if you’ve never read my stuff before you may be asking yourself… “Why is this kid making such a big deal about his friend getting pregnant and acting like it’s the end of his world?” Well, to be honest, that’s because I’m a tad melodramatic. That, and I love her with all of my heart. It came from nowhere and I didn’t expect it. At the same time, however, it came as a complete shock because I had grown up with her in my mind as the perfect girl next door type. She was always there for me to lean on when a relationship of mine failed and she was this perfect image in my head that I didn’t want to leave. Then, when I realized that she was in a relationship and had gotten pregnant, something in the back of my head cracked open and I began to see things in a new way as if there was no shitty filter blocking out everything anymore.

Every time I look at that necklace, I think about that day.

It’s been a while now and her daughter is growing and is so cute and some part of me knows that a chapter closed there in that section of my life. The characters might have moved on and they are continuing in this branch of my story, but that fairy tale that I told myself over and over again has been destroyed.

I couldn’t be happier, because it has allowed me to look at things with a new perspective. Because of that, and I can’t even begin to explain how because I have no idea, it has opened up my heart. I think that maybe a bit of it is that I see her for who she is now rather than who I wanted her to be in my head and it’s freeing.

Of course, this is a really personal topic and not something I need to spend your time on right now. Maybe in the future, I don’t know what will happen.

Today I wanted to talk about the rock. Forgive me for getting off topic, but that’s kind of my jam.

So, rocks.

When I was younger I used to think rocks were super cool, especially when I thought that fossils were also just rocks with cool patterns. I didn’t understand the concept of things imprinting themselves on the Earth and all that. The thing I like the most about them, and about everything, is that in some ways they never go away. A stone in a river can be worn down to nearly nothing before being swept off by the current, but that stone is still somewhere in the pieces of itself that have been carried away. They might end up in the ocean, they might end up on a river bank and be picked up by the bare foot of a camper coming out of the water. They might work their way into a sock and shoe, and then be carried from the camp site to a car to a home and there those little tiny rock pieces can be gathered around the house, in the garden, in the lawn, beneath the patio. They can be taken anywhere. When a mighty wind blows up, maybe those rocks will get picked up and thrown into the sky where they get to float aimlessly and if those rocks were like people… we would get to watch the world from above and understand everything because for once we can see the whole picture.

I think that’s important.

I think that when something hits you that changes everything for you, you should reevaluate where you are and what you are. You may no longer be the big ball of stone that’s been sitting peacefully in a river. You could find yourself in a home, or in another’s shoes, or perhaps somewhere in the sky looking down on everything that you thought you knew and it will change everything for you once again.

Every time I think of that bloodstone necklace, I picture that. Looking down on my entire world from miles up high. Instead of seeing each individual person and each stone that makes up the walkway to my home, I see the whole city block, I see plots of land, I see business districts and I understand, if only for a moment that I am a part of something much bigger that is working together as a unit and I have been so lucky to find my place here.

Every single time I look at that bloodstone necklace, I think of how happy I am to be alive.

Whether I am in my river, in my home, in someone else’s shoes or somewhere in the sky…

I remember that I have people to love, I have people who love me. I have a dream and I have goals. I have good friends and I have the best family I could ask for. I remember all of these things and I remember my friend’s daughter, growing into this world that she and I and all of us are helping to mold and it reminds me…

I need to do everything I can to change this world for the better, even if it’s in small ways that only certain folks can see. I know that these little ripples will blow through the river and create crashing waves. These waves of kindness will brush across the hard build up around the hearts of so many and they will begin to break down in the same way that I have. They will be eroded down to tiny particles and they will end up on a beach, in a home, in someone else’s shoes… and it would make me so happy to see all of us working towards that, until there are no more stones in the river because we have all dissolved. We have all given what we can for the sake of love and kindness and integrity. I hope that I can have that influence on the few stones near to me, because one day whether we want to or not… we will all end up somewhere in the sky, floating like the little specks of stone we are.

It is then, that I hope we will have made a difference in the world below us, because I realized not so long ago that my friends are having kids now. If that bloodstone necklace has taught me anything… it’s that I need to spend as much time as I can making the world around me a better place than how I found it, so that when I’m in the sky, I can be happy, still.

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