Editors Desktop By Cecily Markland

From The Editor’s Desktop

I Have a Rock Collection

        As my grandson recently discovered, I have a rock collection.

He came upon it quite by accident, when I had locked him and his family out of my house and he had to climb in my kitchen window. There he was, being boosted head first through a less-than-shoulder-wide window, the only open orifice in my house—and, there they were—my collection of rocks in various shapes and sizes, all lined up along the windowsill above my sink.

Just how do you keep from knocking one or two down, breaking a glass in the sink in the process? Well, you don’t.

While, for Ethan, those rocks were a nuisance that day; for me, they are something quite different.

Each has a story behind it. Take the finely speckled black and white chunk of granite, the first in my collection. I gathered it in Atlanta last November, while visiting my daughter a few weeks after she and her family moved across the country—a move that momentarily rocked my world. The granite, picked up along a trail and carried home in my suitcase, is a solid reminder of the strength she is in my life, It reminds me that—in more than just a piece of granite—part of her is always here.

Another—a red, jagged rock, striped with brown and gold—I found at “the cabin,” where I spent a weekend enjoying the substance and richness of friendship with “the girls.”

The three small pebbles, Levi selected from among hundreds of similar stones. These were his prizes, the ones he liked best; and they fit perfectly in the five-year-old’s pocket while he and I explored the desert during a little “Nana time.”

On a different kind of day, hampered by stomach pain and lack of sleep, I took a break from driving and instantly found, by the side of my car, a white and wondrous, half-sphere, sparkling with crystals—and with hope.

So, okay, perhaps I’m reading more into my rocks than is really there. My collection isn’t fancy—just simple souvenirs I’ve gathered along the way—nothing more than a bunch of, well, rocks.

And, yet, isn’t life pretty much a process of gathering rocks as we move along? Isn’t it learning, as we go, that some rocks are stumbling blocks? But, that there are also stepping stones?

 And so, we learn to gather more cleverly, to leave some behind or, at least, to weigh the options of a stone before we relegate it to our backpack and carry the weight of foolhardy choices for months. In time, and with experience, we learn to gather and to treasure rocks that hold us up, lead the way—and even add beauty and depth to our windowsills.

And, if we are smart and listen to the spirit, we learn to to stand on the surest stone of all—“Remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation…

Now, that’s the rock I want in my collection.