Saturday, May 21, 2011

The rocks are full of poetry (and lessons)

Geology, of all the sciences, is full of poetry.  Descriptive terms for the most ordinary of things- dirt and rocks and their behavior- are frequently beautiful and concise.  My love of geology's terminology stems from a life long attraction to rocks.  As a child, I constantly picked up pretty rocks and kept them in my pockets.  As I got older, I began to purchase stones with particular vibrations.  I even toyed with the idea of becoming a geologist.

Rocks are pieces of Earth.  They resonate with energy and reflect their birth and life cycles, their location and their travels.  A tiny grain of sand, was once a a piece of a larger whole, that became separated, weathered, transported and polished; I think that what attracts me the most is how like us they seem.  Soil is composed of millions of tiny pieces of stone along with organic material that mixes with it. There is no such thing as dirt to a geologist.  Soil comes in many forms with a variety of interesting names for these combinations.  Another admirable point about geology is that nothing is black or white; transitional forms and gradients replace cut and dry descriptions of minerals, processes and categories.  Discreet, rigid categories are not the norm.  I think we could all take a lesson from that; however, that is not my point (which I am very aware is taking a while to be made- sorry).  Rocks are never destroyed- everything cycles, every thing changes, everything has the possibility of becoming something other than what it started as.

We are part of the natural order.  We all come from somewhere and end somewhere else.  Some of us change forms or are moved far fromour point of origin,  We may be melted down and blended with other things.  We may be put under such extreme pressure that we change; we can even conglomerate with others to form something new.  Even when you carve something in stone, it can be worn a way or altered.  Nothing has to stay the same forever, in fact, nothing does.Embracing the processes of change, rather than fearing them or, worse, denying them, can help us in our life journey.  Bad things happen- earthquakes, volcanoes, droughts, floods, war- but we don't have to see only the negatives in change.  We can look for beauty and good in our situations.  We can allow change to polish away our rough edges, we can become something new.

"These mountains,they comfort me, for they have weathered more storms than I shall ever see and they have survived."  -Ellen Erlanger

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