My children are still young enough that they think their parents are cool. Poor things are in for a shock someday when they realize knowing a lot of Dr Who and Star Trek trivia won’t likely help them with their social status, but hey, in the meantime their dad is pleased all his kids know what a dalek is, and I’m trying to teach them a little bit of everything that interests me while they are willing to listen. One of the things I love best in the world is rocks.
I don’t have a huge rock collection compared to people I know with
serious rock collections, but I have a lot of rocks. I particularly
like pieces of petrified wood, and I’ve always been a sucker for
pyrite. Pyrite (iron sulfide) is more commonly known as fool’s gold,
and at the gem and mineral fairs I used to go to with my family as a kid
it was shiny and cheap and I loved it. I like fossils, I like fourite,
I like calcite and malochite and gneiss and shale…. I took all the
geology classes my music major schedule would allow back in college and I
still happily browse through my old textbooks when I run across them.
There’s something marvelous about holding an object that is so
incredibly old in your hands, and knowing a bit about how it was
formed. Rocks are neat.
For years my poor husband has had to help me move boxes of rocks.
We’ve lived in 4 different apartments and a house together since we met
way back in 1989, and he’s helped haul my rocks over state lines and
across time zones. (He loves me a great deal.) Unfortunately we’ve
never lived in a space that actually allowed me to enjoy my rocks
because there was just never enough room, so they stayed in storage
everywhere. Until now.
I busted out my big box of rocks the other day and had a wonderful
time sorting though them and rediscovering all the wonderful things I’ve
collected over time. Some of the prettiest things I bought at
different fairs, but a large number of them are things I found on my
own. I have some fabulous quartz I picked up in India near the Ajanta
caves, and some beautiful large stones from Cape Bretton, little chunks
from a pumice desert in Oregon, and a handful of colorful pebbles from
the lake where we spent our honeymoon in Michigan. There are my rocks
from Alaska, a hunk of marble from the streets of Rome, and little
polished stones I’ve had as long as I can remember.
Quinn was particularly intrigued with the shells I also have, many of
which I picked up during low tide at the Bay of Fundy when Ian and I
were there about 15 years ago, long before kids but in geologic time not
even the beginning of a blink. Quinn and I had fun looking at each
little item (except for discovering the remains of one of my old pet
hermit crabs in one of the shells, but at least that’s one mystery from
7th grade solved at last).