1. a stone for sharpening cutlery or tools by friction.
2. anything that sharpens: a whetstone for dull wits.
I remember my father having this small rectangular stone that he kept in a leather pouch. Every so often he would take it out and scrape his pocket knife against it, back and forth, sharpening his knife. It wasn't a particularly big deal, but I remember.
Anything that gets used regularly gets dulled by its surroundings. Every good chef knows that the kitchen knives must be kept razor sharp in order to perform as intended. Dull knives slow the process down and can make presentation ugly with ragged edges and poorly trimmed foods. The taste may be okay, but something is just "off".
In regular life we get dulled by our surroundings. Day in and day out we bump against time schedules, mundane tasks, misunderstandings, and emotional minefields. When we get dull, we're not at our best. We need a whetstone in our lives. sometimes more than one, different sizes for different "knives" in our collection.
I have several whetstones in my life. My husband is one. He helps me stay at my best, scraping away the dullness of my life. My faith and my church community are another. They keep me centered and focused on my core beliefs. My friends are another whetstone, they help clear my vision back to what is important and fun in my life. My critique group and blogging circle are a whetstone for my writing.
Do you have whetstones in your life? You can't help but get dulled by living - you need to be kept "sharp". Look for the whetstones in your life and embrace the scraping, you'll be better for it!