Sunday, November 4, 2012

A Pile of Rocks

A pile of rocks.  It catches the eye.  The stones, almost timeless, here pushed up thousands of feet above the sea.  The foundations of the Earth thrust higher and higher.   Breaking.  Splitting.  Bending.  Then resting.

Follows wind and rain; ice and snow.  Baked by sun.  Day and night.  Heaped.  Thaw and freeze.  Blow and wash.  Floods.  Sand storms.  Polished and split.   

Finally, stacked.  Carefully.  Precarious balance.   A pile of rocks.

Piles of rocks.  They have been used to mark boundaries.  Properties.  Nations, even.  Piles of rocks.  Precarious piles.

They have formed alters for ancient worship.  Precarious piles.

In the wilderness, we call them cairns.  Way-finders.  They show us how to go where others have set the course before.  We stack them higher until only pebbles fit on top; homage to the way-finders.

Wilderness art.  Art with meaning and history primordial.  We stack the rocks and we think we have done something.  It takes effort, planning, carrying, collecting, and skill.  A pile of rocks.  We did not know these rocks until we came and picked them.  They became chosen.  Suddenly, they exist—to us.

If they could observe, remember, and think…, would they laugh?  These stones billions of years old?  How long will they stay stacked until the wind, rain, freeze, and thaw scatter them again?  Mere seconds in time immemorial, when they were a memorial.

A pile of rocks.  I like it.

P.S.  If you try to cook on a pile of rocks, you will spill your dinner.  Get a 180 Stove!  Ha!

1 comment:

  1. Love your verbal word play and the visuals are stunning. I've always loved rocks--big flat ones covered in lichen that I can sit on or towering cliffs rising above me.