The Stories Nature Writes

Treasured Rocks

For Christmas 2018, my older son and his two youngest added an item to my bucket list AND helped me accomplish it. I’ve traveled to several continents, not all, but had not seen America’s Grand Canyon. My family wasn’t having it. Instead of coming to NE Mississippi where I now winter as they did last Christmas, they bought air tickets from Minneapolis to Phoenix and insisted I do the same from Memphis. We happily rendezvoused there and spent 36 hours in Scottsdale in a friend’s home before heading north and gaining altitude. During our quiet day in Scottsdale, I asked if we could hike somewhere before the sun went down.There were hiking trails nearby, some leading to mining activity. In one hour, we didn’t cover much distance, but the many varied rocks we examined made this a special memory.

Nature’s rocks tell a story all their own. I’ve loved rocks since I was a four-year-old following my rock hound grandfather as he let me tag along while he sorted, washed, and sliced agates, thunder eggs, petrified wood, or other samples, and taught me to read the stories of rocks. In university, I took two college-level geology courses that were simply a continuation of the foundations my grandfather laid.

On the hiking trail, I was ecstatic to read many stories in the stacks of rocks we passed and sometimes stumbled over. They came in all colors, mostly fire-born igneous, and some with signs and colors that might indicate trace elements of copper, silver, or gold.

I got excited. My grandkids got excited. I hardly ever take trips anywhere without bringing a few rocks home to display fondly like photos of friends and family. I can usually tell guests where I got the samples and how they were formed.

During that one hour walk, we saw various samples (photo above). I also saw my love for rocks and their stories transferred to my 13-year-old six-foot tall grandson. We didn’t carry collection bags but he had pockets in his Bermuda shorts. The further we walked, the fuller his pockets got and the more his shorts drooped. He nearly lost them twice, but that didn’t stop him from adding still more samples and holding up his sagging shorts by a firm hand on his waistband.

One single large colorful rock is my favorite. My grandson says he found it (I thought I did) but he allowed me to bring to Mississippi to remind me of our time. 

That rock is a survivor. It has endured much but its experiences produced beauty. Its white quartz bands are a hardness of 7 out of 10 on the mineral hardness scale, showing it may include small deposits of silver, gold, or other precious metals. It has suffered great pressure and fire, even intrusion, but been made stronger by each of them.

If TSA searched my suitcase as I flew back across country, they may have scratched their heads to see this in my luggage, but they let me bring it home

We saw the Grand Canyon, too, and read its story, as well as other marvels. Those may be future stories. But it is this character-filled well-formed rock that became my favorite and sits on my bookcase now.

What items do you carry home from trips?

What are your favorite stories that nature writes?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

That rock is a survivor. It’s been through much and wears its journey in beauty. Its white quartz bands, number 7 of 10 on the mineral hardness scale, show it’s in the ballpark to include possible small silver, gold, or other precious metal deposits

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If TSA searched my suitcase as I flew back across country, they possibly scratched their heads, but they let me bring my bounty home

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We saw the Grand Canyon, too, and read its story, as well as other marvels. Those may be future stories. But it is this character-filled well-formed rock that became my favorite and sits on my bookcase now.

 

What items do you carry home from trips?

 

What are your favorite stories that nature writes?

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