the stronger and stranger it becomes." Vladimir Nabokov
I have posted before about my almost life-long love of hunting rocks in "Leave No Stone Unturned". One of my favorite memories about rocks is of a very special one my Dad helped me get when I was a young teen.
Northwest of Brooks about two and a half miles, an old steel bridge crosses Walters Creek. Why we were tramping along that waterway back in the 1950's is lost from my memory. But for some reason we walked along the creek east of the bridge. I spotted a rather large rock that caught my fancy - much too big for me to even move, but not my Dad, I thought. I begged him to pick it up and carry it back to the car for me. Dad didn't often grant irrational wishes, but for some reason that day he did.
Can you see the rock at the top middle of this picture? That is approximately how far my Dad carried the one hundred or so pound rock for me that day. The rock resided at my parents' farm for fifty years. When we sold their farm and retired to town, I had to leave almost all my collected rocks behind. A neighbor asked if he could take some of my rocks for a rock garden and I said, "sure". I had thought about keeping that one special big rock but before I got it moved, the neighbor had already taken it along with the others. I didn't really care that much because it was big and heavy and I didn't have a lot of room at our new place.
Yesterday we decorated graves at the cemeteries in our old home county. I decided to stop at that neighbor's place to see if it would be okay if I took a picture of my rock. I thought that would be a simple, five-minute exercise. It turned into quite the adventure. Instead of just one rock garden, there are rocks and plantings all over their extensive yard. We looked at all of them without finding the rock I was looking for.
When I saw this one I thought I had located the right one, but this one is larger than the way I remember mine. Still...it was very much like this. Or has my love of a memory become stranger instead of stronger?
"I do not know how I may seem to others, but to myself I am only a small child wandering upon the vast shores of knowledge, every now and then finding a small bright pebble to be contented with." (Plato)