Life Under the Stones

My dad bought a half-acre of land up in the Poconos and he had a summer or vacation house built there.  It was a new development that had a lake and a clubhouse, with a swimming pool and a pool table.  It was very rural, as we were one of the first properties that built on the land and you had to drive on gravel roadways to reach the place.  It was fun to go up there and be with my family on the property, but my dad always organized work parties.  One of his first projects was to build a large barbecue pit and for that he needed stones, and on our property, there were stones everywhere.  My dad wanted to have a lawn because he liked grass and he asked me to try and clear out all of the stones that were in the front yard and on the side of the house, so he could plant grass seed.

The first stone that I picked up had a snake under it, which scarred the hell out of me and I told my dad that I quit and I wasn’t going to pick up any more stones.  My dad told me, “You never know what might be lurking under any rock, so take a stick with you and turn them over before you try to pick them up, otherwise you may get snake bitten.”  I knew that my dad loved having this property and that he also loved me more than this place, so I tried to be more understanding and compassionate for his needs and I went back to gathering all the stones, so he could have his lawn and barbecue pit, which I knew that I would make good use of.  The stick was a great idea, as I saw a lot of other snakes hiding under stones.  I learned that it’s a natural instinct for snakes to spend their time hiding in holes or under rocks and logs, as this protects themselves from other predators.  It is also cooler under the rocks, so this helps them to maintain a stable body temperature.

Rocks are made from stardust that was blasted out from exploding stars.  Space contains many rocks that just float around in it, from really fine dust, to pebbles, boulders and house-sized rocks that can burn up in the night sky to make meteors or shooting stars.  The Moon and some of our local planets like Mars, Venus and Mercury are basically just large rocks.  Some people have pet rocks, or at least that used to be a thing, and since rocks are generally made up of two of more minerals, I would say that rocks do have a purpose, because people need certain minerals.  Rocks are used mainly in construction and my dad made a wonderful barbecue pit out of the ones that I collected, plus it was snake free around the immediate vicinity of the house, which is always a good thing.  I am not sure if there is any life in the stones, but they can hold memories.

Written for KL Caley’s Thursday Write Photo – Stones – Image by KL Caley.  There is life in a stone. “Any stone that sits in a field or lies on a beach takes on the memory of that place” by Andy Goldsworthy.  What memories do these stones hold?  How did they get there?  Do they have a purpose?”

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