How Happy Is The Little Stone…

by Sherry Riter in Happiness,Poem,Self-Development  

happy brown rock stone in road

How happy is the little Stone

by Emily Dickinson

How happy is the little Stone
That rambles in the Road alone,
And doesn’t care about Careers
And Exigencies never fears —
Whose Coat of elemental Brown
A passing Universe put on,
And independent as the Sun
Associates or glows alone,
Fulfilling absolute Decree
In casual simplicity —

Cute poem?


What in the world does the poem mean?!

Let’s break it down.

The stone is personified by using the words happy, rambles, doesn’t care, never fears, and independent. The little stone becomes even more human-like when she states that it is “fulfilling absolute Decree.” So in other words, this stone has human qualities instead of just being an inanimate stone.

But to what end?

This stone “glows alone” meaning it enjoys freedom to ramble “in the road alone.”

So here is a stone in the road, rolling along happy and carefree without any worries or urgent demands of a career. Yet the stone is fulfilling its full potential of being a stone.

Yeah, don’t ask me what that potential is, but just go with me for another minute.

This stone enjoys being alone while fulfilling the dreams and goals as it rambles along happily.

The poem doesn’t talk about the day that a cow walked across the road and left a cow patty on top of the stone.

It also doesn’t talk about how cold the stone got when a foot of snow covered it all winter.

Nor was there any mention of the stone being picked up by a bird and dropped unceremoniously into a garden far away from the original starting point.

What is my point?

We are stones rambling along a path alone with freedom to choose whether we will be happy or if we will be filled with fear in our jobs, relationships and other urgent demands.

Are you “fulfilling absolute Decree in casual simplicity?”

Life is complicatedly simple.

There will be times when you are covered with manure, buried in the cold and all alone. What do you need to do at that point?


Love yourself, love others and let others love you.

Happiness is a natural side effect when you are buoyed up by love.

Your eyes will see the world in a totally different light and although life will still be complicated with sad experiences, it will also offer opportunities where you can direct your creativity, knowledge and passion. Yes, you will blunder stupidly and ignorantly at times. BUT if you continue to learn and persevere determinedly, love and happiness will fill your life.

That’s how we become happy as the little stone.

This post was written by...

Sherry Riter is also known as The Redhead Riter. Sherry is witty, intelligent and addictive as she writes about cooking, family, marriage, failures, blogging tips, art, humor, inspiration, travel, PTSD and aging. Her goal is to inspire, motivate, educate and to make her audience laugh. Sherry embraces being a redhead and helps others to see the redhead point of view…"In some eras redheads were worshipped while others thought us witches. Personally, I like the former and think every day is 'Love a redhead day!'" She can also be found on Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, StumbleUpon, Linkedin, tweeting as @TheRedheadRiter and you can subscribe to her free blog feed.

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Lisa March 20, 2014 at 7:38 am

I love this one Sherry! We really are like that stone sometimes all alone and all we have to do is to love ourselves and try to stay simple, away from all the complications of life. Those complications can drag us down if we let them. We should just enjoy the simple things – Very inspiring!


2 Sherry Riter March 21, 2014 at 2:37 pm

Thank you so much Lisa!


3 Joan March 20, 2014 at 12:28 pm

Ohhh, really. That’s how the little stone became so happy? And here I always thought that you can’t get blood from a stone. 🙂


4 Sherry Riter March 21, 2014 at 2:38 pm

LOL Verrry funny Joan!


5 Jerel Gall March 23, 2014 at 1:01 am

To paraphrase a famous song from the ’60’s:
”Everybody MUST BE A STONE!”
How often have we looked at a flower, a tree, a pet…anything and thought ”That would make a terrible stone.”? Not often is my guess. The stone fulfills its potential because anything else would make a poor stone. And the resiliency of that stone to still be a stone after facing snow, travel, manure, is amazing. And that is why the stone can fulfill its casual simplicity.
Does love amplify that resiliency in ourselves? I believe it to be the most effective manner in which we can all face the challenges in life with less effort. Without love, even of our own self, challenges seem insurmountable. And yet, with the little effort love takes, mountains of stone can be moved.
I just want to add that the life of that stone seems fairly eventful in respect to many that have never moved since the earth’s crust cooled…..


6 Sherry Riter March 23, 2014 at 10:26 am

I never thought about how nothing else would make as good a stone as a stone does…a flower? No way! A snowflake? No way! That was such a great insight which makes me think how useless it is for us to wish we were someone else. We all have our own “stone” qualities that helps us become the greatest “stone” possible.

Oh! Yeah, the stone did get around! LOL


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