Thursday, February 25, 2010
Getting My Rocks Off...
...of the fridgetop.
I am reading a really terrific book, Salt Dancers  by Ursula Hegi.
It's the third Hegi book I have read, and I will read others. I think she is a fabulous writer.
It's a digressionary memoir-style novel about a woman named Julia who returns "home" to try and extract from her aged father a confession and apology for the years of physical and emotional abuse she suffered at his hands as a child.
At one point in the book, the adult Julia touches the pear-shaped rock that lies on the mantel of the fireplace at her home in Vermont. And she recalls how her brother Travis retrieved the rock from the bottom of the lake where they spent a great portion of their childhood.
"...when I take it into my hands, it feels dry but smells damp like the bed of the lake it came from."
I just thought it was so neat of a thing to do.
Such a neat thing to KEEP, from one's childhood.
Think of how long -- how many bazillion years that rock sat submerged in the darkness of the lake!
And now.... now I HAVE IT AND IT'S MINE.
I read it, and then I wondered if real people ever do such a thing.
Collect rocks, and attach sentimental value to them.
Then I realized that I myself am one of those people.
For the last hundred years or so I have had these two rocks [see above photo] sitting on the top of my fridge.
The significance of them for me is that I retrieved them from opposite sides of this great country I live in -- and it's a big 'un!
The first rock, the western one, is from a place called "Mile 0" [as in, "zero"] in Victoria, British Columbia, on the western side of Vancouver Island. It's called Mile Zero because this is the western starting point of the Trans-Canada Highway [the longest highway in the world, by the way!]
I retrieved it while walking the beach there. The only thing west of Mile Zero is......... a lot of water, and then Japan!
The other rock, more of a reddish hue to it, was retrieved from a rocky beach in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
Admittedly, you can go a lot further east in Canada than Halifax, but, until I one day travel to St. John's, Newfoundland, this eastern rock of mine will have to suffice.
I think of these two modest rocks of mine as the Bookends of Canada.