In Jewish tradition, when someone dies,
friends and family often leave a small stone on the grave.

Some say stones are left because stones
… are a sign that someone has visited the grave
… enable visitors to share in the commemoration of the deceased
… are in keeping with an ancient tradition of stone mounds marking graves
to preserve the location.

While I am not Jewish, I like to leave a stone on graves
for those reasons and for one other reason.
I find graves to be holy places.

The Hebrew word for holy is “qodesh” meaning “sacred”
… something that is considered worthy of spiritual respect.

When something touches my heart
… to the core of my being,
When I find tears
… close or flowing at a level I cannot explain,
When my soul soars
… at a joy, deep within,
I know that I have experienced
something holy
something sacred.

While I find the holy at grave sites
I often find the holy in other places and experiences, too.

Today, as I watched media reports and images of
women, men, children, youth of all ages, abilities
religions, ethnicities, languages, races etc.,
… city after city
… country after country
… continent after continent
peacefully processing
peacefully protesting
peacefully walking
hour after hour
… with babes in arms
… with toddlers in strollers
… with handmade signs waving
I knew I was witnessing a holy event.

And for that, I am grateful.
And so I end this blog
with a simple “o”
… the shape of a stone
in humble gratitude for
all who marched
today for human rights.



© june maffin



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