Artist, Writer, Woman, Mother, Healer, Teacher, Biohacker, Gardener, Friend, Entrepreneur
Before the days of metal working and reflective finishes, humans once marked miles with stones so that they could track the distance to their next stop. These milestones eventually became forgotten bits on the side of the road, but the action marking a specific change stuck and the word “milestone” came to mean an action or an event that marks a significant change whether used in common language or as part of a scientific achievement. For me, milestones represent the rocks I collected as I began to heal and walk as part of a regular practice of health. They are the unguarded moments of my journey forward that bring a small weight and significance to my wellness quest.
Walking in nature has helped me to heal. The Navajo have a saying “Walk in Beauty” which in simplest terms means to walk in harmony with all living things. To me, it means to be aware of the connectivity of all things even though as humans we sometimes feel alone in the world. By reconnecting, whether it be through a bare foot on earth, a hand in the dirt, or walking outdoors and appreciating the sounds, life and markers like stones and trees I know that I feel better even on my darkest days.
Where I live there are plentiful rocks. Sometimes they make my path difficult to maneuver but I could not imagine being happy without rocks around me. They give the illusion of solidity, but an illusion it is. Even rocks erode over time and although you may describe another person as your rock, you may also hit rock bottom at your lowest point in life. I’d say I hit rock bottom last December when I was falling regularly, could not trust my legs and was having significant medical issues that changed my entire outlook on life.
I began walking and I began collecting rocks for each mile I achieved without a fall. I now have hundreds of rocks collected from the dirt road near my home and have decided to take 100 miles worth of smaller white quartz rocks I’ve tumbled and create a 100 day challenge to add a reminder of where I have been and where I am going on my journey of wellness.
For the next 100 days I am creating pendants incorporating each of 100 white quartz rocks into a wearable art pendant that merges manmade polymer clay with the milestones I collected on my walks as well as various symbols and marks that have meaning for me. This is the next leg of my journey as I work to rebuild my hand strength and grip now that I have strong legs beneath me. I know that I can travel many miles now without my legs failing me, under my own power, but it is the joy of picking up rocks that I want to keep close at hand and nurture in the next 100 days.
As I hold the idea of each of these wearable art pendants in my grasp, I hope you will join me in sharing this creative process, as well as finding your own path to Walk in Beauty. Today as I start this new period of growth I leave you with my first creation in this series and this Navajo prayer that it may guide you to reconnect with what is most important to your own wellness, and to knowing that you are not alone:
As I walk, as I walk
The Universe is walking with me
In beauty it walks before me
In beauty it walks behind me
In beauty it walks below me
In beauty it walks above me
Beauty is on every side
As I walk, I walk in Beauty.
~Traditional Navajo Prayer