Tuesday, April 28, 2009

White Rock

Every morning I walk down to the foot of the hill with the dogs and stand at the top of the cliff looking at the water. During the winter that spot is ravaged by the weather. The snow is pushed there by the plows, along with rocks and pieces of pavement that have been torn up by water running down the hill. There was a great mound of dirt and debris there until a few days ago. Now it is flat amd smooth again, spread out by the city's trucks. I meant to get a picture of it as the snow was melting, as an example of how nature so blithely takes over what humans try to alter. Before I got a chance, though, humans reigned it in. Next winter the snow and water will tear it up again.

A few days ago I picked up a white rock I noticed on the ground and carried it back up to the house. When I got there, I threw it in the garden. I wondered why I had taken it. I was attracted to it because it was white, and stood out amongst its less flashy volcanic cousins. I wondered why I needed to possess it, to interfere with its natural place, to change the course of its history. I was exerting my power over it, or so I thought. I realized, though, that my moving it was natural, too. I am as much part of nature as the rock, and I moved it the same way an insect might push a blade of grass out of its way.

Then I entertained myself thinking about how many thousands or millions of years it will take for the wind and rain and snow to put it back in the place I found it, and where it will go after that.

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