The Beauty of Rocks

Rocks call to me, inanimate though they may be. Perhaps my attraction is their permanence, their ability to stand firm and solidly in place. True, erosion comes with the passage of time, with exposure to weather extremes, and with interference from human hands. But I have no intention of damaging rocks; I only want to enjoy them. Climb, sit on top in the sun, or rest beneath an overhang in the shade.

I first appreciated the shelter of a rock at age seven during a hike up Sharp Top Mountain at Peaks of Otter, Virginia, a strenuous one-and-a-half-mile climb. After suffering the heat along the way, I welcomed the shaded opening near the summit. Two gray rocks gaped like the mouth of a gator, though with flat surfaces sans teeth. I stretched out on the lower bed-like rock and, breathing in the earthy fragrance of the outdoors, promptly fell asleep, safe in its cool, hard embrace.

My heart is in the mountains, on the trails and in the rocks. Firm, stable, and reassuring as opposed to the beach’s shifting sand and undulating water. I gaze at the ocean and see mile after mile of nothing but emerald waters meeting blue sky, a place where non-swimmers dare not traverse. A hint of salt touches my tongue and my unsteady feet sink into wet sand when I stand at the water’s edge to feel the ocean’s spray. There’s a world under the vastness, but it’s a world I neither enter nor see. Instead, I choose to wander the mountains, firmly placing my feet among brown tree roots and rocks sparkling with traces of mica. I gaze upward through green pine needles and the leaves of various hardwoods to glimpse blue sky that seems beyond reach. What draws me most, though, are the rocks that line the trail—to observe how God placed one boulder upon another, one mossy, another, bare. All different sizes. The ones I walk on are firm underfoot, unmoving, as steadfast as the love of God. 

I’m at peace when there is solid ground beneath my feet.

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