As a child I remember walking along the rocky shore of Martha’s Vineyard feeling the ocean-smoothed stones warm and roll my feet. Like exotic birds’ eggs washed ashore, each was a treasure, alive with possibility.
I still feel this way about certain stones- their vibrancy of being.
In Virginia, we are closer to rivers than to oceans and we still discover amazing rocks. Unearthed, churned and placed just so on the green edges of watery arteries.
Promise Stones have a ring of contrasting material that course across a rock like a wedding band. My mother showed me my first Promise Stone on that island shore of my childhood. My husband and I have collected these stones here and there on our travels and have embedded several in the floor of our bathroom. Some from Martha’s Vineyard, where we were married. Some from the river down the road. And some from places in between…
Remarkably, it seems that when I am most questioning presence, they turn up on curb-sides and in fields.
Last weekend, I found myself asking for a reminder.
This is a difficult time of year and changes are swirling like the froth of rapids. We took a family excursion to Sugar Hollow, a beautiful stretch of land and water in the national park. The boys each brought a Playmobil boat to send down the river where dad was waiting to fish them out of the freezing rush. I stole away for a short time and came across scattered Promise Stones. Strong, solid stripes of quartz wrapped around the rocks like tendons or ribbons on a gift.
It may sound sentimental and superstitious, my fondness for Promise Stones. But that’s okay. I’d like to wonder at nature and my place in it. Even if it means seeing love in a rock.
Happy Valentine’s Day.