They line stairs, window ledges and bookshelves; fill flowerpots and bowls beside my bed. And that little space in my car, the alcove-esque area above the gear shift, is for what if not stones…?
My theory for the why of this (apart from stones are lovely) is the way my dad would every now and then on a summer night after working in a factory all day and after mowing the lawn and after supper… announce that he was heading to the beach to get some rocks.
He didn’t ask me to come with him. I was a skinny kid with noodly arms. Not super helpful in the rock lifting department.
But something in the way he said he was going to the beach… different from the way he said he was off to Canadian Tire… sounded like an invitation.
And so we went.
He and me.
He to collect rocks for alpine gardens, to edge various beds or frame his collection of seashells.
And me, to skip stones, bury my legs in cool nighttime sand and wonder how long it would take to swim across Lake Ontario and what, if anything, was on the other side.
It’s possible he took breaks from the rock gathering. He may have sat on a length of driftwood at some point, lit a cigarette and wondered too about the swimming and the other side.
I don’t remember the details of these beachy missions.
Only that cool nighttime sand.
And my first pocketful of stones.