“A small stone is a very short piece of writing that precisely captures a fully-engaged moment.” This is defined on the website www.writingourwayhome.ning.com which hosts a free mindful writing challenge called The River for the month of January.  The idea is for writers to live mindfully and note at least one moment a day.

One of my goals for this year is to write something every day, whether it’s a blog post, 2000 words on my novel, a character sketch, or even a “small stone.” I want to write something.  This challenge fits into that goal perfectly.  It also fits into an ongoing spiritual goal to live mindfully which is sometimes difficult in my busy, distraction filled world.

I’ve included my first “small stones” of the year that I’ve written so far.  I haven’t managed one everyday but I have managed to write something every day. The site has prompts to look at nature, people, etc.  They’re actually kind of fun to write.  Enjoy.

#1  A bed of coals, glowing, radiating, heating, engulfing, burning.

My cheeks heat as I watch the flames, red and hot, as if I said something perhaps I shouldn’t have, but not this evening.  This heat is delicious, warming all the way through, safe, no regretful words involved.

#2  My Mandala . . . placing pebbles winding, circular, encompassing the garden of my own creation, paper, flowers, glue, my soul, reaching outward to create, becoming . . . me.

#3  My old dog snores, adjusting his legs, sighing in his relaxed contentment.  The puppy shakes and wriggles before yawning, his jaw stretching wide, sounding like a baby pterodactyl, high pitched and squeaky.  My son, his voice recently deepened, laughs his new sounding laugh and carries the pup off to snuggle and bed.

#4  He approaches, chews on the smile that tries to spread across his face, looks at me then steals a glance at the young woman by my side before looking down again.  His hair, sweat soaked, sticks to his cheeks, his forehead.  He holds his hockey stick across his chest, his gear in a pack on his back, a young warrior.  “You played well,” she says, grinning.  He looks up, nods, the smile makes the briefest of appearances again before vanishing into . . . cool.

#5  The pen, scratchy on the page, my lower thumb aching with the exertion of actually writing, using a pen and paper.  The words, inscribed forever, no delete button here.

#6  A spider dangles, slowly lowering himself on a thread, swinging over my morning coffee, too close.  He pauses, unaware of our rescue, swaying in the air as I move my cup; his descent continues.

I haven’t yet written a small stone while I’m at work.  Perhaps it’s the environment of 29 teenagers in my classroom that prevents me from remembering to take note of a single moment, but it is a goal for the next week or so.