I'm pretty sure my fascination with rocks began when I was eight and my family was living in Newfoundland. Being the last child of 40-ish parents, I learned at an early age to be comfortable playing alone and entertaining myself for hours with my imagination.
Newfoundland is a very rocky island and our house was near a low craggy mountain. One of my favorite pastimes was to find a rock about the size of a watermelon with just the right amount of crevices, ledges and ridges. This represented a house with rooms. I would dig around for the perfect stone “family” in sizes ranging from walnuts to cherry pits and drag them over to the rock home and arrange everyone in their own rooms. Smaller stones would be the family and pebbles were, of course, the babies. Flat stones would be beds, tables and cars (sometimes there would be an attached garage which required a separate rock). I could play like this for hours. No dollhouse for this young lady, no siree. I would make my own everyday right from Mother Earth. This is probably when my loves for miniatures and dollhouses was born.
This fascination with stones continued throughout my life.
When I was 12 I took a lapidary class and recall the pleasure of dragging my hands through boxes of stones when choosing one to work with. I remember a sense of being one with the stone I was working on, spending weeks together to bring out it's inner beauty.
In eight grade I went through a phase of painting rocks to look like animals.
In a high school science class, we were assigned a project in which we had to find indigenous rocks and make a display labeling them. Everyone groaned but I couldn’t wait to start. It was one of the few school projects I completed without prodding from my parents.
When my eldest son, Davide, was five we took a family vacation to Calabria where the beach was not sandy, but rocky. I was in paradise. While everyone else sunned on the beach, I spent my time walking the shore picking up lovely smooth stones and when one called out to me (as is their way) I would put it in my basket. Every morning after breakfast Davide and I would play a game. We would lie on our bellies next to each other on an air mattress then drift along the calm ocean peeking over the edge into the crystal clear water studying the millions of rocks lying the three or four feet below. We would find images in their many shapes and point out what they looked like. He would shout, “look mamina, there’s a dog or I see a car in that one”. We drove back to Rome with the car loaded with special stones.
Three years into my massage practice (nine years ago), I began to incorporate basalt stones from Hawaii into my sessions thinking the heat would be nice for my clients. I have since come to understand that my bodywork takes on a different quality when I handle them. I feel calmer and more focused. Sometimes, in the silence of a massage, I’ll accidently hit two stones together and it makes a lovely deep clicking sound. I’ve had clients tell me that they love that sound and find it relaxing.
This stone with the turtle was a gift from a client - it's one of my favorite possessions.
My husband brought this huge peice of rose quartz to our marriage . It was given to him by his grandfather when he was a little boy and it has become like a member of our family.He and I also bring each other rocks as little gifts when we travel independently.
In her post, Julochka said, “…stones put you back in touch with something ancient and basic and make you feel some kind of connection to a continuous line stretching through time”. I heartily agree.
We humans have a deep need to connect with our foundation: home, family, tribe, race and ancestors. When I wrap my fingers around a fragment of the most basic foundation of all - Mother Earth - I feel her ageless primordial energy, and it give me a sense of security.