Tuesday, July 3, 2012

amazing gift

I love the old movie, The Long Trailer, with Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz. Lugging home rocks from every stop along their honeymoon journey seems so hilariously familiar. Wouldn't everyone wish to do the same?
Maybe not boulders like they did, but there's something so satisfyingly solid about a rock as a souvenir.

Holidaying in Canmore one summer, I wandered along a rocky shore, my head bent, my eyes on scan and seek.
The Bed and Breakfast we were staying in had a growing collection of heart shaped rocks spilling down their front steps and I was determined to add to it. I did kneel and place my offering more than once but it was a different sort of rock entirely that has become the perfect souvenir of that time.
I remember the crisp clean wind, keenly fresh and the high blue sky ringed by snow capped mountains.
The river, darkly green rushed onwards as we picked our way along the rocky shoreline.
A triangular rock caught my eye and I bent to retrieve it. Along one side, as though etched in white ink, was the silhouette of waves. I slipped it into my pocket with the other keepers.
It was only days later, as I spread my cashe out to sort and admire, that I discovered an amazing gift. The gills of some long ago sea creature were preserved as though pressed into the underside of that rock like mushroom gills perfectly fanned.

When I look at this rock now as it rests on my kitchen window sill, I remember not the holiday in Canmore so much, as I do the feeling of surprise and even wonder associated with that time.
I had been apprehensive about travelling so far when my daughters due date advanced ever closer.
Our first grandchild was born ahead of schedule, shortly after we returned home.
The memory of his birth has been sweetened by the wonder of childhood. By the wonder of discovering who he is and will become.
And right now, he is a little boy with a fascination for fossils and other ancient wonders.
Wonders abound.

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