Thursday, August 9, 2012

Stuff I collect: Stones

This is part of a series on stuff I collect. If you follow my blog it will be no surprise that I love rocks and stones.  Unfortunately I could not bring this happy fellow home from Sand Canyon where I collected this photo instead.

I can never go anywhere in the natural world without filling my pockets with rock and stones.  I should have been a geologist.  My collections fill my house and yard and garden.  I love the colors and shapes and textures.  They are all treasures to me.  

On a recent hike to Ice Lakes in CO. I plunked myself down in the middle of a pile of crystals while others headed to the sumit.  I could have stayed there all day sifting through the skree.  Each bloom of crystals I found was better than the last.  There were some huge ones I had to leave behind.  Would have been lovely in my garden, though.  As it was I packed my pack and pockets full.  Going down the mountain I was a lot heavier than going up.  The extra calories I expect I burned was an extra plus.

Rocks and stones decorate my books shelves and window ledges.  One rock even holds up the bookcase.

 Stones also come in handy as bookends.

A Navajo friend told me that perfectly round rocks are good luck.  I have found three on my mesa walks.  Once while walking on the mesa I heard the distinct rattle of a rattlesnake.  I stopped short and looked around.  The sound stopped.  No rattlesnake.  I began walking again.  There it was, chi, chi,chi.  I stopped.  The sound stopped.  Wait was that the sound of pebbels in my pocket?  Sure enough no snake.

An old boyfriend once told me that it was a Scottish tradition that a stone with a hole clear through meant good luck too.  I have at least one.

Some of my rocks have fossils in them.
I also prize my chunks of petrified wood.  I like the connections to the very distant past.

Rocks decorate my garden...not just the ones that were already there.
 They also protect plants from Reena who would dig holes under them.  I drag them home from the mesa in our jeep.  I especially like the rocks that have red and yellow and green moss on them.  Is this a trait I inherited from my father?  He build a stone wall that lined our yard in Connecticut, one rock at a time as he found the perfect fit.

Cairns of rocks guide us on hikes.  They come in all sizes.  The hikers rule?  Never loose sight of the marker behind you until you find the one ahead of you...this does not always work.

I have built cairns in my garden and one at my front gate.

I have collected rocks form most places I have been...they are cheap souvenirs and more meaningful than somethng I might buy.

So it is no surprise that one of my favorite books is:
Everybody Needs a Rock  by Byrd Bayor and Peter Parnall.  It is lyrical and of course I wish I wrote this story.

Another favorite?  Julie the Rockhound by Gail Langor Karwoski.

One of my favorite poems?  Black Stone by Michael Simms from his chapbook of with the same title.

One of my favorite films?  The Japanese movie Departures.  Here are a few lines about "stone- letters" from that evocative film:

Afterwards, Daigo goes to the river and finds a small stone to give to Mika. He tells her about "stone-letters", a story told to him by his father - "A long time ago, before words were invented, people would give each other stones to express how they were feeling at that point. A smooth stone might mean that you are happy, while a rough one might mean you are worried about them." Many years ago, Daigo had stood on these same riverbanks with his father and exchanged stone-letters.

I won't spoil the story by telling you where the "stone- letters" lead to.  Watch the movie and give a freind a "stone- letter" to let them know how you feel.


TheCremerFamily said...

beautiful post! i also love rocks! i have some special ones I took with me through two moves from a family beach, jasper beach, in maine. they are so smooth! the water there is so cold.

Leslie Davis Guccione said...

Wonderful post. So eclectic. Plus they don't need to be watered.

DinPGH said...

We learned the hard way that it is not a good idea to bring souvenir rocks home from a vacation in your carry-on. Some airport security guidelines classify rocks as weapons. By that definition, Karen, your house is an arsenal.

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