It called to me as I was walking across the open expanse between the cabin (which started it's existence as a granary) and the barn. A nondescript stone that can easily fit in the palm of my hand. It told me that it had been there from the beginning, that it had witnessed it all.
This is my first trip back to the family homestead in over 10 years. A most perfect niche of creation situated to give an uninterrupted view of the Grand Tetons from the Idaho side. Juxtaposed were my hellacious memories of this place which consisted of some of the sexual abuse I endured as a child. Those absent years where spent in heavy-duty weekly therapy, and other healing practices which at long last has brought me to a place of clarity and peace. But to return? Never! Yet, after all this time, here I stood looking at the barn which held the worst of those memories. I knew that it was time to face this last fear. To be in the physical location of where so much had happened. I stepped forward and turned the ancient handle and let the creaky door swing inward. I stepped inside. The sights and smells transported me back in time. I then felt the all too familiar sensation of panic on the rise. But I reminded myself that it was 2017, that I am 56 years old, and that I have created a safe life for myself. There was nothing here that could hurt me now. I practiced my deep breathing (so many helpful techniques learned along the way). My pulse started to slow and I could begin to see again. And the door was right there. I could bolt and run if I needed to.
After a bit, I was able to look around. I willed myself to remember anything that wanted to come up. Images of Grandpa stacking the milking cans just so along that wall. Light shafting through the openings just above the heads of the munching cows where the hay could be dropped from above. The constant drown of the milking machines. As a California city girl, it was always a lot to take in and assimilate. Fascination muddled with fear and pain. After more prep time, I gingerly stepped onto the platform where the cows had stood, where I had stood between them, where he had used and abused me. It was an isolated childhood of abuse from several fronts and seemingly nowhere to turn for help and escape. I stood there and let it all wash over me until I could breath normally again. I waited until I had dumped all of the energy associated with this place and that time, down deep into the floor and on into the earth. She bore it well and with loving embrace. When I walked outside and turned around, it was just a barn. Nothing more. My healing complete.
As I stood outside the harmless barn, after picking up the stone, I felt impressed to rinse it off. As I ran it under water the colors and striations started to pop, the definitions intense. It began to tell it's story which was my story. There was a white splotch that represented my healed wound. Along the side of the wound was a dark and ragged scar that ran the length of the stone. It was the the most striking part of the design as it disturbed the complex pattern of the rest of the stone. The words came clearly, "This is the scar that is left in you and will not fade away, but see how it is the most beautiful and interesting part. It interrupts, yet enhances the whole". I burst out crying. Would I prefer not to have the scar? Of course. But it is here to stay and I will choose to see it as beauty from now on. And then the words came, "The Stone of Conclusion".