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I’ve been trying to find the words to tell you about the malas. How they all hold a story of their own. How some flow freely, knowing now is the time for their existence to shift from potential to tangible. Others sit, half made for months, and then suddenly they, too, come together – become. Others still take the form of beads of an uncertain future for years before being just what someone needs in a particular moment.

And again, each has its own journey. Some stay with me for quite some time, and the “Oh there you are” from their person (or their intermediary) comes, again, as always, in the moment it was meant to.

I’ve been searching for the words to tell you that each bead has a story before it reaches your hand, my hand, the hand of the one who packed it, the one who strung it onto a strand, the one who gave it form, the one who prodded it from the earth, and earth itself, orginal holder of the stone turned bead turned mala that makes it through my hand and maybe, one day, into yours.

These stories matter, every one along the way, breaking off into a million ancillary stories, and held in the bead, the beads, the mala, you and me.

We come to hold these stories as we press mala into hand or around neck or seated beside us, a reminder to find our way to our practice. We ask something of the beads – healing, forgiveness, patience, trust. And in asking we call upon those who have touched these stones before us, of the very stones themselves, pulled from the earth.

What can we pull forth from ourselves? What path to healing, forgiveness, patience, trust, and all the rest can we find in the stories within ourselves, within these bodies – bone and tissue and ancient wisdom, come from the same place, the same source, as these very beads that pass through our fingers one at a time.

Can you just be in this moment alone and infinitesimal time all at once, realizing that something is nothing is something is all the same.

I breathe. You breathe. The stones breathe. The earth breathes.

I’ve been trying to find the words to tell you.

I guess I have.