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.”
We live a hop, skip, and a jump away from the Laura Moore Cunningham Memorial Arboretum. According to my VivoSmart fitness band, the rows between the trees add up to two miles. A great place for Willa to run off lead, we go there regularly to get in two of her six daily miles.
On one such occasion, Willa—a few rows over from me—stopped abruptly, put her forearms on the ground, stuck her butt up in the air, and remained stock still except for her metronome tail. When I reached her, this is what I saw (click to enlarge):
Desperately trying to blend in, this little fellow didn’t want to be seen; its only movement was an occasional blink. Willa and I left him alone so his most-likely racing heart could settle back to a normal rate.
Are you more of a blender-inner, or a stander-outer?