I have been collecting rocks since I was a young girl. When we lived in Eureka California, my mother taught me the joys of searching an ocean beach for rocks and shells that would catch my eye. The wet stones showing vibrant colors in the damp sand. I can remember one trip to the ocean shore with my Grandparents. We found a rock that looked like a used bar of Lava soap. It wasn’t exactly pumice, but it had a sandy texture to it. It wasn’t sandstone either. My best guess would be that it was a conglomerate of some kind, but I thought it looked just like the soap, so we played a trick on my mom. We took the rock and placed it in the bathroom on the sink. When mom tried to use it, she came out with a puzzled look on her face and said the soap didn’t lather very well. I started crowing with laughter. Ever since then I have kept that rock on my sink. Now it reminds me of my Grandmother and the fun times we had together.
One of the first things I found as a kid were some large rocks in the field across from my house. My brother and I accidentally broke one of them in half and discovered it was riddled with shells and shell shaped fossils. From that point on, I was looking at rocks in different ways. I found a brick sized river stone, that looked like one Natives may have used to grind corn with. I had a very active imagination. Now I know it wasn’t coarse enough to actually grind anything, but it was solid. We must have dropped that thing a hundred times and never did it chip or crack. We used that stone in our toilet water tank to help save water during drought years. Currently, it is a door stop in my house. I can also remember finding a rock that resembled a spear tip, that I excitedly took to my social studies teacher in middle school. He was kind and did not tell me it was just a plain rock and not one that would have been used as a spear tip. He let me share it in class as an early example of what one “might” find if they were excavating a known archaeological dig site. These things made me feel like I had a connection with people in the past, and for a long time my career of choice was going to be Archaeology.
At some point I graduated from fascinating found stones to purchasing stones instead, sometimes for their beauty, their uniqueness, and sometimes because they felt right in my hand when I held them. I was drawn to them. I was told that the properties I felt in them were not proper Christian beliefs and I should put my interests elsewhere. But deep inside, I began to figure out that stones had vibrational qualities that could enhance different elements, such as healing, absorbing negative energy, or calming an upset child. Eventually I found other people who believed this too. My Husband Walter had told me about the stones around the hot springs having healing properties back when we first started dating, but at the time I attributed that to the water rather than the rocks. Even so, I have been asked before why my purse is so heavy. My husband would be the first to say “Rocks… She carries rocks!”
My husband used to tease me about my box of rocks that went everywhere with us when I was in the Navy. I collected new ones every place we went. Whenever I would come back from a trip he would ask me what I brought home… and then say “rocks” before I could confirm… I’m not sure when the legalities of collecting stones changed, however when I was told it was illegal to collect stones from National Parks, I can recall having a little piece of my soul cry out in sorrow.
It was only natural for me to take up Geology in college. My mother says that is when I started rubber necking every cut out in the hillsides as I looked to see what type of rocks had been buried there. This was the time period when being a passenger in my car started to get dangerous! Or so my mother would have you believe! I loved this class. I became a teachers pet… or maybe annoyance! Once in the middle of a test I burst out laughing… how could I not? The question was What is the Pacific Ring of Fire? One of the possible answers was the One Ring of Sauron. My instructor not only had a great sense of humor but was also well read! He had the nerve to ask me if I could please be a little more serious… lol with a gleam in his eye. I think he waits to see who is going to “get” his little jokes. Trust me, in this class I felt like I was Hermione Granger, an insufferable know-it-all. I got an A+ in the class.
Not long after this class, I started delving into metaphysical properties of crystals and gems…. these were not merely rocks but special stones. I discovered the myriad of ways that my favorite collectibles could actually help me. I also discovered there were reasons I was drawn to certain types of stones. They actually dealt with the properties I needed help with. Now my desk is covered in stones, both polished and rough. It still surprised me when my co-workers asked if I would like to share my collection in the Library display cases for Earth Day. To say I was ecstatic would be an understatement!
lol I didn’t bring in all my stones… some of them are tied up with protective jobs at my house. But I filled the two glass cases and still have a bag of stones and others lost in my garage that never made it in. I am pretty happy with my collection, and it makes me smile when I see people stop to look at it.