Foundations: Rocks

Let your imagination go to your experience of rocks!  Where in your life have you encountered big rocks, stones, boulders, cliffs?  As a child, adolescent or adult have you ever collected rocks?  Do you have a special stone that you keep in your pocket or on a table near where you sit or work?  Perhaps you have figurines, statues or jewelry carved of stone.

As a child, there was a place in the woods near my home where a huge rock, all but buried beneath the ground, gave a perfect flat surface to sit on looking over a little creek.  Sitting on that rock felt safe, and I often imagined just how large it was and how deep it went into the earth.

When I was growing up, there was a Methodist Camp that we went to.  The lake there had many hidden passages that one could take in a rowboat, and one traveled between what seemed like to small mountains of boulders.  Once, my grandfather stopped the boat and we got out and explored some of those huge boulders.  They were giants above the water, and they clearly also disappeared beneath the water.  They felt mysterious to me.

As an adult, I had the opportunity to visit a portion of Sand Mountain that extends down into north Alabama.  In this particular spot, one could walk out on to craggy ledges of solid rock, dangle one’s legs over  the edge of the cliff looking out over a valley that was hundreds of feet below. If one sat there quietly, hawks catching the air drafts would come circling past one’s feet and face.  Those cliffs bore me into the sky and they extended down deep into the earth.  It was a magical place to visit.

I have collected rocks, formally and informally.  To this day, if I see a small stone that catches my eye, it may end up in my pocket.  Over the years, I have collected small Buddha statues from friends  who bring them to me from visits in Asia.  While one is made of wood and another of metal, most are carved of stone.  They speak presence and connection to me, not only of a faith wisdom, but of a land and its people.

What are the rock stories in your life?  What have rocks done for you, connected you to, reminded you of, made you feel?  Where, today, will you come into contact with rock?

Bob Patrick

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