The trail of stones and the great rock

Written by on September 24, 2009 in Faith and Spiritual Life, Notes By The Way with 1 Comment


There was a boy in search of truth. He followed a trail of pebbles up a well worn trail. Each pebble contained a tiny portion of truth. Previous travelers had polished them and laid them out along the way.

The trail was long, and as he traveled the boy grew into a man. He continued following the trail of stones in the hope that he would finally reach the source.

One day when he was resting he looked to the side and saw a great boulder on a hillside. It was rough, not polished or handled by anyone, and placed without any clear intention. Yet it filled him with strange wonder, like something from a dream, and attracted him like nothing he had encountered before.

To reach that place, he had to leave the trail, descend, and traverse. He could surely get there, he considered, but there was no telling what he would see from that vantage.

He looked for a long time, then he returned to the trail of pebbles that he knew so well. He had climbed a long way already, and the great rock was perched on a slippery slope after all.

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About the Author

About the Author: Andy Gray is a writer and photographer living in Phnom Penh, Cambodia and working with Alongsiders International. You can find him puttering around the streets of Phnom Penh on his Suzuki Viva 125, running stoplights and driving on the wrong side of the road or on the sidewalks like a local. If you see him in a coffee shop, he'll be the one typing and deleting the same line over and over again. .


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  • Dave

    I happened across your blog while searching for the meaning of jikka, and became intrigued. After reading through many posts, I read this one, and something truly struck me in the heart. I feel as though I can relat e to the man, sitting, staring at the boulder in the distance, completely captivated by it. I have every intention of seeking out that boulder, touching it and grasping it in my hands. It seems that in life today, it’s too easy to seek out the easier path that others have traveled to find the “truth”. Thank you so much for sharing this story, even though it was posted over 3 years ago.