River Rocks

By GrahamLewis · May 11, 2022 · ·
  1. I have a secret addiction. I cannot pass by a jumble of river rocks -- those small stones gathered together and sold for landscaping purposes -- without glancing down at them and, at the risk of seeming odd to any passerby, picking up one or two that momentarily pique my interest. And I've found some intriguing ones: a small agate (not of commercial value), some fossiliferous limestone (seashells and the like that have accumulated and become incorporated into stone), a piece of conglomerate (mostly sandstone with some pebbles and fragments of shells incorporated into it, debris left in some ancient riverbed that had current enough to move the "larger" rocks around on the sandy bottom), not to mention things like shale and glistening granite, and so on.

    One thing I like about them is that they tell stories about the world that was, so many, many, years back. If one takes the time to read them.

    My latest find is a piece of what seems mostly quartz, half dull gray, half dull white, but at one end there's a small quartz crystal -- its glistening is what caught my eye -- and, barely visible to the naked eye, that crystal is surrounded by tiny sinuous reddish lines, their details visible only under a magnifying glass.

    That's another thing I like about these rocks, the way that careful examination reveals hidden beauty.

    And I think it's not only a matter of hidden beauty, it's also a matter of familiar beauty. The world around us is filled with things that have something to say, if we only take the time to savor them. Not only river rocks, but rivers themselves, and hillsides and meadows and mountains, sunshine and storms, a faint summer breeze or a harsh winter wind, wormholes in decaying stumps and fabulous patterns in frost and ice, the sparkle of the sun on still lake. Imagine if the sun somehow rose only once a year, how we would look forward to that event and watch for the growing rosy shine on the clouds.

    And the same goes for the people around us. It's so easy to look through and past them. In the aggregate we're just a jumble of river rocks. But each of us is an agate, a diamond, a history.

    A miracle waiting to be seen.


  1. love to read
    When I went with Henry for our evening walk I saw this. And though it was the light of the descending sun your words stirred in my mind. Thank you for that.


    1. IMG_20220511_205606.jpg
      Dave The Great likes this.
    1. GrahamLewis
      Thank you for the response.
      love to read likes this.
    2. Dave The Great
      I love Summer days with clouds. Part of me can't wait for a 30 degree Celsius day where some cloud cover brings relief to the workday...and the smart part of me is saying you're a damn fool.
      love to read likes this.
  2. Dave The Great
    As someone who has labored intensely wheelbarrowing river rocks onto a property...I say SHAME ON YOU!Give it back! :p Ha!

    I've had the same line of thinking lately Graham. It's only because of the winter that I appreciate such beautiful days now. I take for granted the sun on my skin, a warm breeze in the shade. It won't take long until the heat drives me to desire the fall chill, and so the cycle goes. Life is beautiful when you witness it on a full belly, hydrated, and in tolerable temperature.
      love to read likes this.
    1. GrahamLewis
      And today I found a nice piece of chalcedony/agate. Which I am keeping.
  3. Dogberry's Watch
    My niece collects rocks on walks. She's three, but she picks them with distinction all the same. We passed by a house undergoing construction and she squatted down to examine the chunks of cement, sifting through it all with her tiny hands. She picked one of the rocks up with both of her hands and passed it to me, asking me to hold it. I did, of course, as she continued her examination. She picked up a pebble next, and squeezed it in her little fist. Then she held out her other hand and asked for the bigger rock back. When she held both of them, she looked up at me with a pleased smile and said, "I have a big rock for me and a little rock for me!"

    She then proceeded to toss them away as we walked by another house, and when I asked her why she didn't want to keep them, she said, "because we have rocks at home, Ca. These rocks stay here."
      GrahamLewis likes this.
    1. GrahamLewis
      BTW, I don't keep all of them. Just a few special ones, to clutter my desk and annoy my survivors.
      Dogberry's Watch likes this.
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