Building a Stone Cairn

When we moved six years ago, we faced a lot of clean-up on our property.  As we had to do some excavating, we found a lot of stones and stacked them in piles according to size.  We were sure we would find some creative use for them in time.

The first thing I wanted to do with some of the stones was to build a cairn.  Cairns are man-made heaps of stones that have been erected all over the world since ancient times.  Varying in size and complexity, they serve as land markers. Some were built to mark graves, summit tops, or trail ways.  Others marked the location of historical or memorable events. A carefully built cairn will stand perfectly balanced without the use of cements or adhesives.

I chose a very large, flat stone (rock) to serve as the base for our cairn.  Then I chose varying sizes and carefully balanced them on top of each other, interspersing a larger one in between a stack of smaller ones.  As I neared the tops, I used increasingly smaller stones.

The trick is to keep it level and balanced.  You should wear heavy shoes when you're building a cairn (definitely not flip-flops!) and be aware of where your feet are.  It if topples over while you're working on it (which it most likely will, a couple of times), it could really hurt if those stones land on your feet.

This cairn has been standing in perfect balance for six years. I built it to serve as a monument to the greatness and goodness of our God, a memorial for us to recount the ways He has blessed us and to testify to His mercy and faithfulness.

"When your children ask their fathers in times to come,
'What do these stones mean?' then you shall let your children know. . .
 that the hand of the LORD is mighty, that you may fear the LORD your God forever" 
(Joshua 4:21-24).

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