Tuesday, November 24, 2009

A Symbolic Journey: Returing a Rock Stolen from a Rock Pile

I don't know what came over me but I saw a pretty rock in a rock pile and took it. Doug Harris of the Narragansetts says that moving or taking a rock from a rock pile breaks the prayer. Nonetheless he is seen, in a bit of footage, taking a rock from a pile, examining it and putting it back carefully in the same place. So this occasionally must be allowed. But that is no excuse for my taking the rock that I did. It was a nice granite-y rock with white feldspar and black tourmaline crystals. Later, I found an another example of this kind of rock and this made it easier to think about returning the first piece I had taken from the pile. So last Saturday I went on symbolic journey to return the rock.

Back at the site, which is in Sterling overlooking Hycrest Pond from the southwest, I sought out the pile I had damaged. On the way, I saw a different pile with a white rock in it and, on closer inspection, comparing what I was carrying to the rock in the pile: I could see this same special tourmaline granite was used here as well. I could not resist taking some new photos of the place, noticing new details: (I have been paying closer attention to how things are related to splits in rocks.)

Then I got back to the damaged pile, as perfect a spot as you could hope for (view to the north)
[Notice what looks like a path in this picture, passing the pile and heading toward the lake.]

Found the hole where the rock was missing:
and popped it back into place: I know this is not OK but it was the best I could do. A final picture of this beautiful rock, I can tell you that the best surface with the nicest crystal visible was turned uppermost.This is not a common material but it seems relatively common in this part of Sterling.

Later, I continued poking around in the woods to the south and continued to find occasional rock piles with this same special tourmaline granite. This rock was a real favorite. Meanwhile, these piles overlooking Hycrest Pond are right next to an old house foundation and a possible collapsed underground chamber. I can easily imagine a person living in the house, having ceremonies all over the neighborhood, using this special material. For example, right nearby:Symbolism for me, even if stripped of superstition, is still satisfying. I was glad to return this rock.


Anonymous said...

It must have been hard to tell us this story since we all know better. Glad you came clean, must be the time of the year! I have collected memento rocks (not from rock piles) from all over, now I wish i just let them be since they all are just getting lost in my drawers. I look at all my rocks rock and now i wonder where i found most of them!

theseventhgeneration said...

When we built our house in Delaware County, NY there was a dead pine tree where we cut our driveway in and a large pile of rocks just uphill from that, right next to the road. We used rocks from that pile to build low stone walls around part of the house for a garden. The rock pile is so close to the road that part of the pile is covered by dirt that was sloughed up when they built the road. It always seemed to me that we were "finishing someone's job" by moving the stones to a more productive purpose, rather than leaving them there in a heap. I even called a local stone company to see if someone wanted to haul the pile away - luckily they never called me back.

Then I learned about Rock Piles and my whole world changed. The tree that was dead, maybe was a cedar(?). There are very few cedars around here but one seedling came up in the ditch this past spring so I transplanted it near where the dead pine came out (by the driveway). I'm still not sure what to do with all the rocks I moved to make gardens, but everytime I look at them I feel a little pain.

When you stand at that big rock pile on the winter solstice, the sun sets right at the lowest notch between the mountains across the valley.