Stoned

A beautiful morning. Walking down the farm road with a moon two-days-past-full up in the western sky, throwing strong black shadows of the newly-denuded trees. The two bulls sleeping in the field on the left, largish black mounds on the silver grass.

Just as I swung my eyes to my right there was the flash of a shooting star, not the narrow pencil-line type but a broad white wash there, then gone. Further down the road, the northward-pointing spotlight on the stone barn wasn’t on, so my walk continued in the moonlight.

Headed north, the moon on my left, the increasing glow on the eastern horizon to my right, a balance began to emerge, of moon and sun opposed and coexisting. One of Those Moments. It seemed to be the appropriate time for the Ritual of the Stones.

Ritual of the Stones

Find two flat stones, large but still small enough to be gripped in your hand with the palm held facing downwards. With your arms naturally at your side, face your objective, in this case the small brilliant diamond of the morning star, orienting your shoulders perpendicular to a line drawn between you and the objective.

Raise your arms, holding the stones palms downward, pointing straight to your left and right. Slowly bring the arms towards the front so that the hands meet, palms towards one another, fingers pointing towards the objective. Sight on your objective through the notch made by your thumbs.

Breathe deeply twice, exhaling fully. Repeat – not aloud – a short incantation appropriate to the time of day.

Return your arms so they point straight to your left and right, palms downward. Pause for a count of two, then simultaneously drop the stones. It is desirable to have the stones strike the ground at the same time. With your arms at your sides, pause to reconsider your objective.

Done correctly, the Ritual of the Stones will start the day.

I walked back up the road past the farm. The bulls were up on all fours, their coats beginning to show red with the increasing predawn light from the sky. The day had begun. The sun would appear.

Note: The Ritual of the Stones is repeated daily around the world. My friend Larry would recognize it from the first time we observed in on the tenth hole of the Audubon Park golf course in New Orleans. Groundskeepers on golf courses would also recognize it as the manual placement of tee location markers. The Strong-Schlueter Institute for Ephemeral Archeology has also recorded an instance of the Ritual of the Stones evidenced by footprints in the dew on the 5th hole; ritual writ on water, mirabile dictu!

A photo taken last Saturday: The morning was less dismal and foreboding than it looks.

Stark trees against a grey sky

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