Sunday, August 5, 2012

"Bring a rock!"


August 5, 2012

Some events stick with you forever and shape the person you become in ways you never really understand.  Recently I came across two old photos’ that reminded me, in a profound way, where I come from and where I want to be in life.

The first was a photo of a log cabin my family built in Nova Scotia in 1974. I was 9; this is what I remember.


“Bring a rock!” . . . That phrase calls out to me in my sleep. It is the sound of my father’s voice. The tasks of building a log cabin in the woods are varied. There is a lot to clear, ground to level, trees to skin and a foundation to create. While my older brothers had the task of cutting down trees with two man saws (no power tools in the wilderness) my younger sister and I had the task of carrying rocks up the hill from the lake to the site clearing for the cabin foundation. Cutting down trees seemed much more glamorous. But my father’s voice rang out, “Bring a rock!” and so we did . . . rock after rock after rock. I hated that job with a passion! And yet that simple annoying task did two things. It created the strong foundation of a cabin that still stands 40 years later and it cleared the rocky entry to our lake and made our daily swims easier and less “leachy”.

Today that phrase “Bring a rock!” has re-entered my psyche and has become a call to action. I hear my father’s voice, “Bring a rock!” each time I attempt to avoid the daily activity of writing and story seeking that is crucial to reaching my goals. It has occurred to me that while motivational speakers and writers talk about dreaming big and setting your goals it is really in the details, drudgery and repetition of the not so glamorous tasks that dreams are accomplished.

The second photo was of me at age 13 pointing to a stone etching of the word “author” and then pointing back to myself.  It was my dream at 13 to be a writer. And so I will begin. I will continue to seek, capture and tell the amazing stories of life found in ordinary moments.  But now I will also write and share those stories and help others to find their amazing stories.

My father’s voice urges me on, “Bring a rock!”  It’s my call to action. A call to build my work ethic, develop a focus on a goal achieved through the daily discipline of seeking the amazing in the ordinary. It is the building of the foundation that holds whatever dream sits at the top.

It is my father’s legacy. It is my future.  “Bring a rock”   . . . Share your stories . . . Build Your Dream!

What’s your dream?  What rocks do you have to carry to make it happen?

Everybody has a story to tell  .  .  .