Romantic rocks in the head.

A long time ago I read that the forces in play in a highway accident are so powerful that you can be killed by something as insignificant as a Kleenex box flying from the back seat to hit you in the head. I always think about that when I am loading rocks in my car to carry home from anywhere. I already had my car stuffed full when I picked up these rocks on my way down from the lake, so I tucked them in the space behind boxes and bags just inside the hatchback. Smaller stones were back there, too, in paper bags. Would that be romantic or what, if I were killed by a stone I had gathered myself from the mountaintop or stream?

You may say in response that I have rocks in my head.
Is that similar to having rocks on the mind? Because that I admit to.

There is nothing so pretty as succulents and rocks together. Big rocks for the in-ground succulents — and other plants — to drape themselves on, and little stones, preferably flat, as I understand, to lay on the soil in pots of succulents.

You can see that I didn’t have any small flat stones last year when I potted these plants, so I had to use whatever I could find, including mussel shells. Today I saw this pile containing several stones that would have been perfect, and I don’t remember why they are there or why I didn’t have them when I needed them. It’s this kind of forgetfulness that makes me want to bring home more every time I visit a Good Rock Place. Stones seem to be easy to misplace.

The Sacramento River and its tributaries are excellent sources for nice smooth stones. I’ve collected there several times with the Professor and Pippin. This one was first admired by my late husband at the confluence of the Sacramento River and Castle Creek in 2014. He jokingly called it a Confluitic Rock, and we brought it home; it’s still here somewhere in my garden, but a plant may be hiding it right now, large though it may be.

My largest rock is this one below, which my brother lifted out of the lake bed and put in his pickup, 15 or more years ago, to carry it up the hill and to our car. I let my toes be in the picture for size comparison.

This week I gathered the best rocks from the dry bed of the winter stream that crosses the road, downhill from the cabin a ways. In this picture you can see in the upper left that there is still some water standing, though none is running across the ford at this point.

Lora and her mother helped me collect small stones from in front of the cabin last week, and combined with the ones I picked up on my own the last day, they make this new pile in my utility yard:

Other than Raffi’s mention of “a little wee stone” in a shoe, I don’t know of any songs about stones that aren’t about stony hearts or love on the rocks, and other such negative connotations. It seems to me there should be a jump-rope song that goes like this:

Rocks in the car,
Rocks on my mind,
Rocks in the head,
Rocks in my H-E-A-R-T!

12 thoughts on “Romantic rocks in the head.

  1. When I saw the Confluitic rock I thought it would be very heavy, then I saw the one your brother carried to your car. You certainly have a lot of rocks of every shape and size. I suppose that’s part of their attraction.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What a happy surprise to be reading about rocks! I have loved them forever: by father had a glass-fronted specimen cabinet in which he kept an array of rocks collected from all over southern Africa. Having only brothers, it was unsurprising that my youngest brother and I often turned my dollhouse into our own ‘rock museum’. I too bring back smallish (usually smooth) stones from our travels that end up on my windowsills or garden. I have a feeling we would have a lot of common ground should we meet up for tea 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  3. My collection’s not as large as yours, but I understand the impulse. One of my favorite possessions is a copper basket filled with an assortment of ‘memento rocks’ from various places I’ve visited, from the mountains outside Georgia O’Keeffe’s place in Abiquiu to a wonderful cruise in the Virgin Islands. I even have some of those white-lined gray pebbles from the spot where your Russian River meets the ocean. I love them all

    Liked by 1 person

  4. You’ve got some beauties there, Gretchen. And yes, there is something quite lovely about setting succulents amongst the rocks. I got a charge out of your post as you talked about rocks in the hatchback, rocks in the head, rocks in the heart. Enjoyed my visit here this morning. Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Wonderful rocks! I have a collection from Camano Island, Washington, as well as Sedona and Flagstaff, Arizona (where I grew up), and a lovely stone from Jerusalem given me by a stone mason who spent a month on Camano, learning to blow glass. I have also left directions that when it is my time to repose, dust to dust, that all my rocks be piled upon my grave as a cairn.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I love that you brought home rocks. You could probably “buy” rocks anywhere but these are meaningful and part of your experience so all the better. And you picked some really lovely ones. too. So glad you made it home without concussion, skull fractures or other injuries to said head!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. They look so beautiful with your succulents. I can’t help it, but you remind me of Lucille Ball in The Long, Long Trailer. Have you ever seen it? You would laugh.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Yes! We have rocks around our trees, peony and hosta in our front yard, while most people here would use mulch. Succulents and rocks are beautiful together!


  9. Being a collector of rocks, myself, I can truly appreciate this wonderful post. I just never considered that one of my prizes might come flying and put an end to me, but, then, I am not driving on a California freeway, either.


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