While walking Willa in the Laura Moore Cunningham Memorial Arboretum, I saw this small cairn.
Used by people around the globe, cairns—a human-made stack of stones—serve many different purposes:
Utilitarian: to mark a path, territory, or specific site
Spiritual: inviting passersby to stop and reflect
Ceremonial: when placed within a circle of enclosing stones
Memorial: when friends and family members voice a fond remembrance of a loved one while adding a stone
Symbolic: the uses are endless including love, prayer, and artistic expression
In Scotland, it’s traditional to carry a stone from the bottom of a hill to place on a cairn at its top. In such a fashion, cairns grow ever larger. An old Scottish Gaelic blessing is Cuiridh mi clach air do chàrn — “I’ll put a stone on your cairn.”
Have you ever built a cairn?