Saturday, September 6, 2014

Rock in my Pocket

I could have called this shades to come.

Have you ever looked back on why you do what you do to express yourself, whether it be painting, sculpting or lapidary, and wonder, "Where did it start?" Did it occur to you that you were oddly and magnetically attracted to the oil paintings of the Masters. Did you have to hold your free hand at your side with other to keep from running it down a finely sculpted curve? Do you sometimes think that that was where it all began? Unbeknownst to you, at the time, you had chosen your muse, or, rather, your muse had chosen you. It probably took many decades for you to pick up a brush and you probably never gave a thought to the little butterflies in your belly when you viewed a beautiful painting. You just knew that you wanted to paint. After the initial struggles to become proficient enough to let your guard down, maybe you stood back, took a breath and were transported to the memory of you standing in awe of the Masters.

I used to take nature walks with the kids when they were little. Granted I live in suburbia, but there was a little slip of woods nearby with a stream, berries and trees- lots of trees. I use to point out the trees and name them for kids just as my mother did. I got pretty good at identification and so did they.

One day, on our little walk, I happened to look down instead of up and saw a mish mash of rocks at my feet. Now, understand, there really aren't rocks around these parts. The ground is more sand and clay. Where the rocks came from, I don't know. Maybe some boys were playing and left them. Perhaps they were from a recent drainage project and they were fill. Dunno. But, one really piqued my interest, so I bent down to pick it up. It wasn't much to look at, but it had a great waterworn side which fit my thumb. I stuck it in my pocket.

Once home, I remembered it again and studied it a bit. It contained mysteries. Quiet mysteries. It was something that I just liked to look at and wonder. What kind of rock was it? Where did it come from? Could I polish it? What was inside of it? I even named it, but sadly, I have forgotten the name. It was so long ago. 25 years probably.

I put the rock in my purse. I don't even know why. I just wanted to keep it. I wanted it near me. I didn't want to lose it. I took it out now and again to rub the smooth spot and contemplate whatever it was that made me want to rub it. Who knows what those things are? Who knows what thoughts kept me mindlessly rubbing my thumb over it? I don't.

I was still carrying it around with me when I was in college. I made it a point to ask someone in the rock club what kind of rock it was. Someone said, "Feldspar." Ok, feldspar, though I know better now.

I don't remember when it left my purse. But, at some point, it sat on a shelf with some other treasures and then I slowly realized that it wasn't there anymore. 

Years passed. Vocations came and went. I took up wire wrapping, but my heart was always in the rocks. I dreamed of one day cabbing and then dismissed those dreams as just that.

As it happened, my dream came true and I found myself the owner of a cabbing machine. And, what do you think was my first thought? I wanted to cab that little rock I had found years ago and had forgotten about! I lamented that I had lost it. I sincerely regretted it. For all those years it had intrigued me. It could well have planted the little seed in the back of my mind to pursue lapidary! But, now it was gone.

I've been cabbing for a few years now and I have held out hope that my rock would reappear.

While cleaning out some trinket boxes the other day, I found my rock! I was surprised by how happy finding it had made me. My husband came home and I told him to hold out his hand. I placed the rock in his hand and as he opened his palm, his eyes lit up. He remembered it, too. It was an odd, heart warming moment. Silly, I know.

Now that I have it again, I wonder, should I cab it? At one point, early in our relationship, I tried to use a dremel to find out it's secrets. I thought I could get the rough exterior off. No, that was not happening. It's a tough rock to crack. I'm thinking that it is an agate, but I still have no idea where it came from.

It had obviously been in the water a long time. Recently, I have heard there are butterscotch colored stones on the Eastern Shore of Virginia. Maybe, it came from there.

I think if I cab it, I can get an ID. But, I have decided that I love it just the way it is, mysteries and all.



  1. Simple pleasures are the best! Congratulations on finding your treasure again. Your lovely story brought tears to my eyes.

    1. Thank you, Mary :) The older I get, the more I appreciate the simpler things....

  2. What a lovely story. I love your decision to keep it as it is. Some things are perfect as they are. The memories of finding your treasure are enough :)

    1. Hi! Thank you, I really loved taking those walks with the kids. I'd end up with a few neighborhood kids, too. The rock reminds me of so many things.... I had to keep it as is. :)


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