Rock Magic

Have you ever been walking along the beach and seen a rock that you just had to pick up? Sometimes you carry it for a few steps and then toss it casually aside. Sometimes you take it home and place it carefully in the garden. Sometimes you see another rock and put the two together, because something about the pairing just looks right. This is rock magic. It looks like nothing, feels like nothing, but in fact, is something. I will explain…

I’m sure you’ve noticed, rocks do not have feet, they do not have wings, they do not have fins and they’re pretty dense, so if they want to go somewhere the wind is certainly not going to help. So what do they do? They use us, that’s what! They find unsuspecting people on the beach, or in the mountains, or even just the sidewalk and compel them take them wherever it is that they want to go. That pebble you just tossed into the lake? It’s been wanting to go for a swim all day.

The most memorable experience I ever had with rock magic began at Reynesfjara, the famous black sand beach in the south of Iceland. I found a rock there that called out to me. We spent an hour on the beach together watching the waves and when it was time to go, the rock went with me. This rock stayed with me the rest of the trip, and when I returned to California, it found a new home in my rock collection next to some other friends from Iceland and some new friends from other travels.

When I was planning my second trip to Iceland, I felt like this rock wanted to go home. I put it in the small zip pouch in my backpack and off to Iceland we went. For almost two weeks, this rock went everywhere with me – up mountains, along rivers, into the snow. It was a beautiful trip together until we reached the Glacier Lagoon and I knew it was time to say goodbye. We sat together for a while, watching the glaciers bob in the gentle waves. And, when I felt satisfied with our moment, I gave it a little kiss, placed it lovingly atop a big rock and walked away. I did look back, but only to smile, happy knowing that it was back home and that we had had a beautiful journey together.

Eight months and 10,000 miles of travel only for this rock to end up 120 miles away from where I found it. I really hope it is happy at the Glacier Lagoon, or that if it wasn’t or changed its mind, it found someone else to take it on another adventure. Who knows, maybe it’s relaxing right now on a beach in Fiji.

My little rock, just before we said goodbye.

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