Small Stones: # 5, Deep-south Winter

Our weather maps light up with dark greens, yellows, reds, a vivid contrast to the shades of gray outside.  A day of heavy rain and storms. Again. Too many days and more to come. Our streets flood, our old trees are in danger of letting go their fragile hold on the earth.

The worst of it is north of us. From the Delta to Memphis to Nashville, the map colors have gone to pinks and rose. Half an inch of ice tonight on trees and bridges. Devastating. Far worse than our sodden ground.

Frozen Forest by Evgeni Dinev, courtesy of www.freedigitalphotos.net
Frozen Forest by Evgeni Dinev, courtesy of http://www.freedigitalphotos.net

This is winter in central Mississippi.

We look for a little ice tonight, a little sleet, a little snow. A rare thing. If we’re lucky, in the morning we’ll wake up to a fine glaze over everything, and sunlight. I will tell you about it. It won’t last long.

“Small Stones”: Meditative Writing to Start the New Year

A New Year discovery this morning—and yes, I know it’s not Monday Discovery day, and it’s already the tenth of January:

jan13largeKaspa & Fiona at Writing Our Way Home have launched their third Mindful Writing Challenge (previously known as the River of Stones) during January 2013. It seems a fine opportunity to quiet the mind at the beginning of each day, before the writing work or the housework or the errands or the other distractions of the day take over.

Kaspa and Fiona call these bits of writing small stones, which they define as “a very short piece of writing that precisely captures a fully-engaged moment.”

What a lovely idea, to stop and capture a moment, observe it for all it’s worth, and write about it. So I’ll try writing a small stone a day for the rest of January and post them here.

For January 10, there’s this:

Distant thunder. Rain sheens the deck, scattered with the last brown leaves.

Maybe this could be a haiku? That’s what “small stones” remind me of.

Distant thunder rolls.

Water sheens the deck, scattered

With the last brown leaves.

So here’s to mindfulness, always good for the writer’s eye.

How do you enter writing mode? A cup of good strong coffee? A few minutes of meditation? Tell me how you prepare your mind for the task at hand.