I was never as good at skipping rocks as my sisters, even as an adult to get three bounces gives me the woohoo thrill my sister chirped out when five became six, but that’s alright with me, I still love the process.
First I scan the water, diverted from the acquisition by dragonflies and water-skippers, dragon flies before transition, and minnows. I love the way minnows dart in at my feet to search for food; my feet are slowly turning blue in the coldness of the stream, seperating themselves numbly from the experience.
My eyes find a roundish flat stone.
I pick it up, weigh it in my palm, feel for the necessary smoothness, discard it as too rough. Choose another, not as flat; and it is also discarded as too heavy. Usually the third or fourth one will sit properly and answer correctly the questions of my fingertips. Arm back and my wrist flicks it across the water scattering the dragons and damsels, one or two skips. Then my missile sinks beneath the surface to wait for another purpose and time. I always manage a skip or two. My sisters laugh taunting me to match their feats of four and five and six, but I never even get to three.
I skip more stones than any of us, enjoying the process long after they lay grumbling and bored on towels getting tans next to my mother while my father fishes.
I like the process, and that is enough.
So many other ways I have been unable to excel in comparison to my sisters, I am as a child repeatedly chastised, even humiliated, sometimes even encouraged to stick to what I am “good” at; to accept my limits and respect my natural boundaries. Music and sports and beauty and love are for my sisters; I am smart, I can act, I can write, words are my destiny; they say, “stick to words and academia,” or “stop being stubborn, and acting stupid,” or just “stop trying to be something you’re not!”
It doesn’t matter that I also like to run and swim and build and sing, perhaps off key, but at the top of my lungs. No one asked then what I wanted, or liked, or thought; no one really asked anything. Except why I was so odd, so clumsy; why I wouldn’t make eye contact; why I couldn’t act like a lady; why I didn’t get straight “A”s; why I kept trying to do the things I couldn’t do; what was wrong with me.
Except nothing was wrong.
Except I could do all those things, and laughter bubbled up inside me pouring out over my being like an agitated cola when I tried.
I might not run faster than my sisters, I might not win races, but I could run then, I liked to run then, and still I do. Not as often and not as well, and currently not very far, but I can, and I do. Its the process. That moment when new sneakers feel the dirt and my feet are taken with the magic of movement. I run.
Sometimes I run because practice and patience and discipline have another sort of magic but that is another blog, this one is about loving to skip stones when your best skip is, was and always has been two.
I am so very lucky.
I listen to so many lost and scared and sad people on the interwebs, so many people afraid of not being enough, not being loved, waiting to find the one right person, the one right job, the thing they are best at, wanting to win. They never wade into the stream and pick up a stone. They miss so very much.
I build relationships kind of like I skip stones. Some people just don’t feel right, their energy to heavy, their surface needing a bit more polishing, but I do not wait for the one right person before sharing my heart, I love to the best of my ability the person before my eyes and within the grasp of my arms. Some have been my spouse, some are my children, some have been friends, some lovers, and some remain strangers who I greeted with a glitter ball of love sparkling out from my smile and received a sunshine return. My life is full to the brim with happiness and love.
True, frequently and currently I sleep alone, so maybe here again just two skips of the stone; but also here again, how I love the process.
Oh, I have never taken first in any race; my one silver Sprint Triathlon Medal mostly a reward because even though I am all those things that others use to excuse their sedentary state; slow, and old, and fat, I still try.
I still run.
And sometime soon I will find a shore to skip stones.