Tonight Rob and I went down to the river to a secret place (sshh -- don't tell CN that we trespassed). We parked the sturdy little car beside the tracks, clambered down the bank, and went along a trail to a wide beach of perfectly round rocks. Plain grey sandstone, granite, black rocks with stripes, green ones, brick-coloured ones, creamy pockmarked ones.
I love rocks. Everywhere I go, I pick up rocks. I have a black rock from the easternmost point in Newfoundland that weighed down my airplane luggage on my way home. I have a piece of molybdenum ore from the toe of the Hudson Bay glacier, which I carried down a very long, steep trail in my day pack. I have several small pieces of ore from the rock crushing plant of the now defunct Grand Duke mine, which used to be a major employer in Alaska and northwestern British Columbia. From Saskatchewan, I have a large piece of limestone filled with shellfish fossils. I have flat white pebbles from Atlin Lake and agates from Haida Gwaii. I have a small ceramic bowl filled with polished rocks that I purchased one allowance at a time from funfairs and carnivals when I was a child. And many other rocks, unlabelled, their origins forgotten (Mexico? California? Switzerland? the local beach?), lurk in boxes, on window ledges, or in the corner of the shed.
Rocks make me happy. I think that is why Rob took me there tonight. Last night was a night of insomnia, the morning given over to worrying, the afternoon to spinning in circles, and all leading up to an evening of nothing accomplished and nothing decided -- whatever am I going to do?!
But instead we went down to the river beach and put our hands on round flat rocks. Rocks ask for nothing. They don't demand answers. Thank-you Rob.