Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Space in My Heart

An empty area
(usually bounded in some way between things)

It was interesting that I found it where I did - at the "end of the line" so to speak. There, on one of the multitude of rocks scattered along the edge of the river, I happened upon it quite by accident...

I have no idea who placed it there, but there was no doubt as to what it was - a perfectly shaped heart formed of small colored rocks. It was not alone, having been carefully placed about equidistant from two other formations placed on other rocks: a grouping of bright green leaves, weighed down by a smaller rock, and two words formed of small pebbles , "te amo" - I love you.

After many years of dreaming, this past Fall my husband and I finally made it to a few of the American Southwest's most spectacular national parks. That particular day was our time to "do" Zion, in southwest Utah, and we were more than ready to see it. We had begun early, catching a shuttle bus and leisurely riding to the far end of the road to take the Riverside Walk along the North Fork of the Virgin River.

The day was perfect for hiking - crisp, clear, and quiet. This trail is an easy one and winds along the river for a mile before the river becomes the trail. We did not plan to continue up the river, so took our time simply enjoying all that nature had to offer there.

At the point where the trail ended, we visited with a few other hikers and watched the more adventuresome ones take to the Narrows Trail up the river. Although I do enjoy visiting, I'm one who also just enjoys the great outdoors as it is, which is often fairly quiet. And so, while my husband continued visiting, I wandered along the river, taking in all of its nuances, which led me to the small heart.

An area reserved
for some particular purpose

And so, as is often the case with me, my mind began to wander - to the who, where, and why of things. Had young lovers passed this way earlier, finding it impossible to pass up the opportunity to express themselves to each other? Perhaps it had been the playful creation of children, or of visitors from some other place in the world, immersing themselves in the freedom of an area much different from their everyday lives. Was this a message left for someone in particular or for anyone who happened to find it?

I found odd assortments of pebbles on other rocks - were there more formations or "messages" to be found? In the end, I decided that it really didn't matter who put it there, or why; what did matter was how it affected me. I have seen a great many pictures of heart forms that others have found in nature and I know that some people specifically look for those. I am not one of them. I can think of only one other time and place where I saw one. Those two times, and others unrelated, have moved me profoundly because these are messages we all need to receive.

The interval between two times

What, exactly, is the human "heart"? Is it the same as a soul or something different - something pulsing, sustaining, feeling, empathizing, growing, shrinking, opening and closing? I do know that I follow mine often, and have since I was a child. Being raised in the "Big Sky" country of Montana, I was surrounded by open space.

Surely influenced in part by this land, my parents encouraged a certain amount of openness in me - honesty, loyalty, understanding, acceptance, and trustworthiness. Do not lie, especially when you're at fault; always do what you say you'll do; be patient and kind with all, especially those who are less fortunate - physically, mentally, and emotionally. Do what you think is the right thing, even if your friends do not; look deep inside and follow your heart - if you are conscientious you will not go wrong. I have found that, although it is not nearly that simple, all of this is pretty good advice.

Any location
outside the Earth's atmosphere

No matter how big my heart might be, it cannot function alone - neither can I. I treasure the times when I can be alone, but am seldom lonely, for I am full to the brim with friends and family. I treasure and enjoy those who are nearby; those who are not here are still with me, in my thoughts, my memories, my heart... Most of all, there is that supreme power, infinite wisdom, God, whatever you wish to call it, that surrounds, grounds, and connects me. I do not pretend to understand what this power is all about, but it do believe that it creates a vast amount of space within my heart - and within yours. It is up to us to fill it.

The unlimited expanse
in which everything is located
"The boundless regions of the infinite."

Words in bold italics are from:


  1. What a pleasant thing to come upon and oh my, how many thoughts it provoked! Love the photos of the hearts and the mountains. Now you've got me thinking as well...

  2. Lovely and restful. Thank you.

  3. as always...ladybug...your words...and pictures...make me think!
    the stone heart...the other stone designs...were there for you to discover...and anyone else who could appreciate their 'thought'.

    your pictures always show the beauty that surrounds us...

    i've never been to Zion...some day...

    (as i was reading this post, i quickly checked into my email and saw that you had left a comment at my recent post...we were on the same wave length...at the same time...) :) happy saturday!

    (OH, ps-the snow heart image is one that i found when googling 'hearts'. and the sasquatch was made of spanish moss...not sure what was underneath it all. the eyes seemed to be refectors.)

  4. Thanks, everyone, for your generous comments. I do seem to have a mind that just spins round and round - one thought leads to another.

    Kathie - I think I might now begin to actually look for heart shapes in nature - I know they're out there... on the other hand, it's quite special to just happen upon them, isn't it?

    Helena - I thought the same way with this lovely area of the country...

    Laura - GO TO ZION - it's spectacular. I highly recommend the Fall, less crowded and cooler. AND - they have lizards there!!