Friday, November 22, 2013

collecting rocks

We were out for a walk.  Down a dirt road, our bright colors blazing, singing songs and being loud.  It is, after all, hunting season here in Maine.  And one does not wish to be mistaken for a moose.

Julia and Elliott were lagging behind, stopping every so often and picking up small pebbles.  Filling their hands and pockets.  Every once in a while they would run up with an especially exciting one to show me.  One that sparkled.  One that was white.  Once that left a mark when you scratched it across another. 

Mommy, can you help us carry them?  They are getting heavy!

We rounded a corner in the road and came upon a large boulder.  One that we have passed many times. But something about the way the light was shining on it made us all notice it.  

And then, Mommy!  That rock.  It looks like a baby elephant.  

And then, almost without pausing, Can we climb it?

I am not sure what it is about a large boulder, reimagined as a large and gentle creature, that makes you want to climb it, sit on her, gaze out from her.  But it did.  

They tucked their pebbles into her wrinkly skin as they did so.  Freeing up their hands, lightening their bodies so they could jump off her back.  She held these treasures for them so well, especially behind her ears.

As we left, I reminded them of the pebbles they had placed all over her.  Don't forget your rocks.

It's okay.  She can keep them, Julia said, jumping down.

Elliott was a bit more reluctant to leave her behind.  Can we come visit her next time we are here?  And bring her more rocks?

Though we of course left her behind there on the side of the road, we collected her too.  What she looked like in that light.  How she held the kids.  What she allowed them to see from her back.  How it felt to stretch to climb her and how it felt to jump off her.  And we left a bit of ourselves with her as well.  Waiting for the next visit.

It only took a few minutes, this visit with her.  But now?  She is named.  She is re-imagined. She is Elephant Rock. Wrinkles, ears, trunk, pebbles and all.

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