Stones are often associated with hard heartedness. But I find them magically soothing. Like the ancient Chinese who always held a smooth and precious piece of jade in their hands. They believed it had the power to bestow peace and tranquility.

My own favourite is a smoothly rounded oval stone, which can be held comfortably in my hand. I found it on the riverbed of the Ganges at Rishikesh.

It is a dull grey with a smoothly swirling whirlpool of dark grey lines patterned upon it. It recalls the millions of tons of water that have flowed over it for generations to wear it down to its perfect shape.

It is cool to the touch. Held against my cheek, it is like the touch of a beloved hand – gentle and soothing. With it, the link we have with the eternal forces of nature becomes vivid, immediate.

I have a soft spot for this stone from the riverbed.

In my garden, I became a pat of the great unhurried stream of life. For in a garden, everything is done in its own time. It cannot be rushed. Flowers bloom as a reward for patient loving care. And only in their appointed seasons. Trees grow tall and majestic over the generations, governed, like all things in this magical place, by their own eternal clocks. Birds fly down to pick up a twig or two to fashion their nests, as they have been doing long before I was born. And will continued to do when my bones are dust. A garden is a place to understand the meaning of Eternity — Nobody should be without a garden.