While our children swam up and down a pool for an hour, ET and I were chatting away, as chauffeuring fathers are wont to do. He related that one day, with work, he was in a cemetery with a colleague. They spotted a Jewish grave and both stooped down to select a stone to place on the grave – unknown to the other until then, both had Jewish ancestry.
This sparked an association with me. I always have a few stones in my pocket – replacement stones are regularly acquired on beach visits. They can be left on headstones. They can rattled as worry beads/comfort beads. The few mountains that I have summited each has a stone placed by me.
I cannot remember when I started having stones – but it is many years ago. Maybe it is a Camino thing. Maybe they are just a comfort-blanket.
On Friday, I read of the death of Stan Hilton, the last surviving British member of the International Brigade.
The previous day, I left Castlebar Peace Park with one stone less in my pocket. One was used to remember Tommy Patton and David Walsh who, like many others, did not return to Ireland.