Moving Stones.

bricks and slabsSometime last week, while driving up and down the hill, I ended up sliding sideways in the pickup – and only slowly recovered. And so, I knew it was time to start collecting again.

Before the highway had been run and a house built where my entrance to the same area was, I had a path I drove on the crest of a hill that allowed me to go in during wet season with the old Mazda B2500 4×4. Others without 4×4, and even without the right tires, could not follow. And, as anyone who has driven in mud with mud tires will tell you, they are designed to dig.

Dig they do. And when that happens, you clean the tires by spinning them faster, so they dig more and mud goes flying in all directions. It’s messy enough fun where people do it just to do it – and I understand why – but when you have a freshly graded road, you don’t want to dig into it.

I had a freshly graded road I didn’t want to destroy. So I slid down, and as I was doing that I decided it was time to start doing what I had done before – picking up odd pieces of concrete here and there, stones, whatever, and throwing them on the road for better traction.

Someone with more money would have someone come by and drop off some material. I had tried to get some, but my personal time was simply too scarce for that to happen. With no one you can truly depend on to do things for you, you learn to do things piece by piece and develop habits.

One habit was looking for pieces of concrete and rock and tossing them in the tray of the pickup to later toss them onto the road. It plods along, but what’s interesting is how many stones and pieces of concrete one can find laying around. All this detritus from other places slowly begins forming the foundation for a road, one stone at a time.

This sort of thing would drive my father crazy. He wanted tangible results immediately, and there I was, just doing little things every day that eventually gave the desired result without denting my pocket and time too much.

Later in his life, a few years before he passed away, he would tell me that he wished he had learned how to ‘plod’. I asked him what he meant, and he mentioned how I had filled the eroded bit of the yard in the back with no vehicle, no money spent, and how it was no longer eroded. His answer had been for years, “When the money comes in I’ll drop some material there.”

My answer had been to do something every day that would give the result. It also allowed me to tailor how I did things to give that result. And then, too, there was the tree.

His money never came in, or ended up being used for other things, so he never got to do it. He almost seemed to respect what I had done. A small effort daily can give you the same results as a massive effort at one time.

We move stones every day. We make piles of these stones every day. Some of us hope for an immediate pile, and some of us, every day, bring a few stones and drop them on the road.

There is no one coming to make everything alright. There is no one you can truly depend on to accomplish what you need. There is never enough time.

And.

Never wait for progress, never wait for something to happen. Make progress. Make it happen. One stone at a time, move them to where they are needed – some will be large and heavy, some will be light, but everyday, move one to where it needs to be.

Patience and habit finds the result.

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