Wednesday, July 22, 2015

The Lava Ball

A woman came up to my till. She was balancing, not quite gracefully, several bags, her wallet and a ballfrom all appearances, a beaten-up concrete ball. I asked, as she maneuvered her load from one hand to the other, if she always carried it with her. Oh, she laughed nervously, I am going to meditation… it’s a lava ball. Her fluster grew until she finally decided to lay the ball on the counter. I have several rocks and stones, she added, including labradorite, they help me centre.

Ahhh, I said.

It comes from Hawaii… I bought it in a store in Colorado.

Oh, I replied.

I picked up the ball. It was heavy and roughly cratered, somewhat akin to Fred Flintstone's bowling ball, albeit a 5-pin one. I judiciously refrained from telling her this and waited quietly while she got her money out. Coins spilled onto the counter and bags slipped from her shoulder as she emptied out her wallet and laid out four twenties. A moment of silence; then panic:

There should be five there, she said, agitation growing, the bank machine ripped me off! I should have counted the money, I always do, but this time I didn’t. I was about to suggest she call the bank when she took a breath. Then another. No, she said, I should have eaten. My lunch is in the car. I spent that fifth twenty on lunch. Much calmer she paid her bill and took her leave.

A not so subtle reminder that we don’t need special tools or apparatus to help us centre. All we need is to practice good self care: to slow down, take a breath and nurture our body and soul. Bet it cost less than a lava ball, too.

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