Monday, January 21, 2013

Written in Stone

So, what’s with the rocks?  I had no idea what he was talking about. 

On his way upstairs, he peeked into the large room where I work.  Oh, he said, this is your office.  I hesitate to call it an office but it is where I work.  I flip on the light.  It’s actually a large storage area.  I commandeer one corner of the room.  A large corner.  My old desk is at least seven feet long. 

I would have expected him to mention the framed pictures that almost fill my desk – and the wall above it.  Instead, he notices rocks.  I step forward, aware of the frown creeping over my eyes.  Oh, those rocks, I say. 

Hands in his pockets, his eyes shift from one side of my desk to the other.  Finally, stepping forward, he checks out a crystal dish that holds an assortment of smooth stones.  I pick up one and then another, reading the words engraved on their surfaces.  Laugh, Hope, Believe, Smile...  Not all the stones are engraved, though.  Some are just a lovely shape and size. 

Where’d you get this one?  He was examining a medium size rock with sharp, jagged edges.  I use it as a paperweight.  I had to think for a minute, and then a minute longer.  I remember – barely – finding it during a road trip to the east coast. 

The heft of the rock feels good in my hand.  I trace the uneven surface and picture myself on a gravel shoulder admiring a copse of autumn coloured trees against the brilliant blue of the water.  I spot this rock – all pinks and browns with glittery veins − and immediately reach for it.  A souvenir, I call it. 

My eyes flit across the surface of the desk to a mirrored tray holding several stones in varying shapes and colours.  Oh, now these are very special.  Caressing one of the stones from the tray, my memory takes me to a beach at Chapel’s Cove, Newfoundland.  The mist breezes across my face as I sit on a piece of driftwood and look out at the bay. 

Before that trip, I had only visited Chapel’s Cove online while researching my first novel.  To be enjoying the same view as the characters in my story…well, it was a magical moment.  A friend fashioned one of the stones into a necklace for me.  A treasure!

I must have fallen silent, lost in my reverie.  He cleared his throat.  I guess this one’s pretty special too, he said.  Grinning, he lifted it off the desk and balanced it in his hand as if judging the weight.  He turned it over and over before placing it back with a thud.

Yes, I laughed, that one is very dear to me.  A mini boulder with crayola markings covering the surface in purple, orange, green, black…well, all the colours.  Looking closely, you can decipher the letters ‘s o p h i e’ amongst the shading. 

With a sigh, I realize why I didn’t understand what he meant by ‘rocks’.  To me, they are inspiration, memories, and love offerings. 

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