I have spent so many quiet hours picking pebbles. Every morning after tea and oranges, I put on my sun hat, bend over the flowerbeds, and move the earth with my fingers. 

I mostly find amoeba-shaped pebbles and rocks that I toss in the small pot I carry about. Sometimes, I find bits of plastic wraps and wonder how they ended up in the garden. Twice, or at most thrice, I have found stone beads perhaps from some jewellery or other. And once, I unearthed a coin that I covered with soil again.

For company, I have mother watering the plants, spring birds now returned from their winter sojourn, and occasionally a neighbourhood cat, Manoli.

Manoli is in the habit of wasting milk, leaving his fur all over my clothes, and scratching my hand when I tickle his belly. (I got shots for rabies, if you were worried, my dear reader.)

But about picking pebbles. I put on my sun hat, bend over the flowerbeds, and feel the morning sun on my back. It’s so calming that I often lose myself and go on and on and on. 

Picking pebbles is almost like picking thoughts, one at a time. 

I think about the novel I’m writing and the scenes and dialogues that trouble me. I hope for a way out while picking pebbles.

I think also about my university days and the promising career I had ahead of me. And I left it for what, picking pebbles? But isn’t picking pebbles better than sitting in front of a computer all day, editing news articles?

There are times I think of life in a completely different land, a white sundresss, a hat, a pen and a notebook, a strange scene, a stranger… But I return to the present because this present is what I craved for in the past city days.

But the present hurts me. So much bloodshed, so much for nothing. Where does it stop and where? 

I’m not hopeless. I keep picking pebbles, finding meaning in the most absurd activity. Nobody minds pebbles, mother doesn’t, the earth doesn’t or the plants. Still I pick, still I think. I pick pebbles for no one but me.

10 thoughts on “Picking Pebbles

  1. I enjoy these kinds of mindless activities, too. Sometimes, we just need to do things because we want to – – – no other reason needed! ❤

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        1. A career as in job to job, promotion to promotion–the safe road. I left that road behind for the writerly one, and it comes with many uncertainties. And as Frost would say, “That has made all the difference.” Whether for good or for bad, can’t say for now.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. For good. No doubt about it. I too took the one less traveled by. Not as a writer, just all my life. And it’s fine. There are tough stretches, but it’s all right.
            BTW that poem has defined a good part of my life. What a nice coincidence.
            Enjoy your road or path whatever you want to call it…
            🙏🏻

            Liked by 1 person

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