Monday, November 29, 2004


Tucked in a pocket of my husband’s desert combat pants is a small brown rock that has the Chinese symbol for simplicity etched into it in black paint. He carried the rock with him every day last year when he was first deployed to Iraq and he has it with him all the time this year.

I gave him the rock years ago, long before we began our overseas adventure, when other events were complicating our lives. The symbol meant that despite the events swirling around us, the space between me and him was simple. When we drowned out the stress and business of our lives and reached that quiet place where only he and I exist, the complexities of life disappeared. When it comes down to just us, our vision is clear, our feelings are pure and our lives are simple.

Although our circumstances have changed, the symbolism of that rock hasn’t. And I find comfort in that as I get ready to leave for Iraq for another chapter in my life. He carries the physical object of the rock in his pocket and I will carry the symbol of it in my heart.