365 Days of Earrings

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Rock Solid

A couple of days ago, I felt the earth shake beneath my feet. My first earthquake. Like pretty much everyone I know, I spent a good 10 seconds listening and wondering before realizing I should MOVE.

I heard a geologist state that the seismic waves travel well through east coast bedrock because it is solid and old, unlike the young, soft rock in California. Soft rock? Isn't that an oxymoron?

The epicenter of the earthquake that rocked the east coast was in Mineral, VA. When I was a baby, we lived just 18 miles from there near Beaverdam, VA. My parents rented half of a duplex from a farmer who raised Black Angus cattle. My dad managed a titanium mine in Louisa County. That earthquake and I emerged from common ground.

I chose these stone earrings and my stone bear pendant this morning. I bought the earrings this summer during a deluge in Berkeley Springs, WV.

I've been thinking about rocks's impermanence. Nature recycles rock all the time. Moss and lichen--tiny, simple organisms--help eat away at this boulder in my yard. Rain and ice and wind will weather it. More dramatic changes take place constantly deep underground, as rock metamorphoses through heat and pressure.

In sixth grade, my desk sat next to a window that looked out towards the Washington National Cathedral. For 9 years, I attended Friday worship services in this inspiring gothic edifice. I gloried in the music, the language, and the stone. I loved nothing more than walking past the stone masons at work carving limestone to add to the structure.

On Tuesday, the earth shook and toppled some of those  stones.

Solid as a rock. Really solid. But sometimes solid is not the best goal. Sometimes, maybe it's best to aim for flexible, adaptable, willing to change. Like a rock, hosting moss and lichen, exposed to wind and rain.
Nature is busy recycling. It's a very long term plan. Like softening old rock.


Caroline said...

Where I live in California we are surrounded by live oak trees (different from your east coast oak in many ways but, most obviously, in that they are not deciduous.) The oak forests here are thick and the trees must move/struggle/contort/adapt/twist/reach/struggle more (you get the idea) to get the sunlight they need to grow. As a result, the trunks and branches are curvaceous in the most interesting ways imaginable. Has so got me thinking/fantasizing about the ways in which we humans do the same damn thing to survive all that comes our way… Twisting and turning and reaching…

jwkrumich said...

In rock/paper/scissors, paper beats rock every time. Yeah, I know, I'm just so deep...

K├Ąthe said...

I hadn't heard about what happened at the cathedral! Wow. Deep, Dad. I did an assembly about how people are like trees and have to adapt throughout life, similar to what Caroline said! Neat! Mom, I learn more about you every day. You lived in Louisa?!? Great post!