The Rock that Casts a Shadow

There is a large boulder on the Southwest-facing slope of a mountain.  It has lain there hundreds of years residing on the hot, arid, and austere residual gravels of the desert mountain.  In its time standing still, it has faithfully cast a shadow on the ground behind it during its vigil.  Its mass has absorbed and blunted the heat during the day and faithfully released it back to the cold nights of its high place.  What was lost there to the cold sky each night, allowed it to be renewed once again by the next day’s light.  And so together, the day and night also participated in the dance of the shadow’s nurturing.

As a result, in that place emerged a realm that was just slightly more moist and slightly cooler than the rest of the desert around it.  That locale, then retained clays as earth, air, fire, and water performed their work.  From the wind came unseen life and soils for cohabitation emerged – the Many Things now live under the shadow.

Less unseen was a juniper seed also brought in by the wind to germinate. This juniper took root, and it leaped up, transforming energy, and then other things came to now roost in the juniper’s branches.  The Many rest together in the greater shadow granted by the help of this tree, that has stood for perhaps one hundred years.  Word of shelter and food of seed was called out by the winds. The quail responded. The desert cottontail came for grasses; bees and butterflies arrived for their allotment of fuel.

This small oasis with its blossoming life, all this resulted from the mere presence of this massive stone.  Is that a great thing?  This is but one stone.  Remember the mountain has provided this countless times before, and all that from but one mountain.

When you meditate seeking tranquility, transcendence, or escape, will it be greater than that of the desert dove that coos gently while abiding in the juniper’s branches, abiding in the times of eons?  The dove is safe and without care as the seasons flow past.  Its companion has arrived.

So what then results from the presence of a human’s life? Why is it so burdened, when we know all that blossoms due to the mere shadow of just one rock?  No care; time is young and the rock still has five hundred years to stand.