The Dry Stone Wall

The dry stone wall
The Dry Stone Wall Under Construction

One on one on one on one,
The drystone waller’s day’s begun,
Stone on stone on stone on stone,
Lots to do ere he goes home.

A solid build as ‘fits his trade,
Every stone securely laid,
Sweating brow and breaking back,
Another stone goes on the rack.

Perfect symmetry, line on line,
Locked together, looking fine,
From random stones, different shapes,
A cohesive whole he creates.

The master’s hand the holding glue,
Nothing more, forever new,
Come wind come rain ’twill strongly stand,
And remain a part of this ancient land.

These scattered stones have become a wall,
So solid, dependable, standing tall,
For years to come ere he’s gone home,
An epitaph to a job well done.

(Terry Yarrow)

Dorset dry stone
An Old Dorset Dry Stone Wall

I composed the poem above as I was walking one day. I came across the partly completed dry stone wall in the top picture and I thought it was amazing how it all holds together so firmly despite there being no concrete or any other binding agent. It is all held together simply because the skill of the craftsman ensures the right stones are put in the right place – as I put it in my poem, ‘The master’s hand the holding glue’! it just inspired me.

It makes me think of people and community. We are all stones in the dry stone wall of life and we rub shoulders with those around us in our part of the wall just as the stones do in a real wall. If we are a perfect fit, the wall holds firm, but a ‘perfect fit’ doesn’t mean we are perfect any more than the stones are perfect. A perfect fit means living in harmony with those around us and watching out for each other. If we all do this, the dry stone wall of life will hold firm despite the storms that come.

So what kind of stone are you?

Thanks for dropping in on Time to Reflect and for reflecting with me.

(All words and pictures on the site are copyright of Terry Yarrow and must not be reproduced without permission)


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