Monday, October 24, 2022

The Stories This Rock Could Tell


Every rock has a story.

For this rock, it could be the story about how it used to be a chunk of shiny fool’s gold until it got covered by the gravel from Lake Bonneville. That gravel was heavy, and compressed the rock into a matrix of limestone. Over time, limonite replaced the beautiful pyrite crystals, turning them brown. Eventually the water receded, leaving the rock high and dry, allowing opportunity for wind and rain to erode the limestone.

Or it could be the story about one city car, two cowboys, three girls and their parents, and four stuck tires. A story that begins with dad packing the car for a grand adventure and mom packing sandwiches and kids arguing about who gets to sit where. A story that wonders why a car that had no business being there, found itself stuck in a creek bed that, in drier weather, passed for a road. And honest-to-god cowboys with strong quarter horses and thick ropes who rescued said vehicle and then offered the girls a ride to the quarry because they were heading that way anyway to check on the herd.

It could be a story of who, what, when, where, how, and why. For example: why would someone carry that rock across the entire country, twice, when there are other, smoother, prettier rocks to tuck into a pocket? Or a story that has no grounding in our shared reality.

On the other hand, it could be a story about a rock that remembers those cowboys, and the lake, and the time it was new and shiny and had great expectations for the future.

Next time you find a rock, sit down with it and ask its story. You'd be surprised how much a rock has to say.

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