City Dweller: My Family is a Rock Family

The Next Family

By: Tanya Ward Goodman

kids in the water

My family is a rock family.  By that I do not mean we are in a band.  We like rocks.  We cannot help but pick up round stones and hold them in our hands as we walk.  Our dryer rattles with the sound of loose gravel, our yard is filled with odd shaped minerals, rough edged or worn smooth by sea and sand.  We collect rocks on beaches, trails and roadsides.  We let them weight our pockets, our piles of paper, our windowsills.  We covet those rocks too large to lift into backpack or car trunk.  We are a rock family.

These rocks help bind us to the earth, help to give ballast to our helium light souls.  We are drawn to these rocks because they give us a sense of permanence or a sense of history or simply because they are a beautiful color or the shape of a heart or a cloud or a hippopotamus.  These rocks bring the outside into our home; let the beach rest on our bedside tables and the desert blow through our dining room.  These rocks remind us of our need to explore the world and give thanks for a home at the end of the road.

My father was a rock man.  My mother keeps a collection of stones.  They taught me to take comfort in the perfect skipping stone, the round of a pebble.  My children learn from me.  And the world opens.

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