Rock Collector

When I was in second or third grade, I developed an interest in rocks.  (Nerd alert: I even had a rock identifying kit and guidebook.)  I think most kids go through a rock-loving stage where every smooth stone found on the ground fascinates, where every glittery pebble near creek's edge sparkles with the possibility of treasure. 

As I grew up, I still kept an eye out for unusual rocks whenever I walked on trails or near water's edge.  But for the most part, my rock collecting days were behind me.  Hauling all those pretty chunks of quartz and flint and sandstone around the country during the many moves Knute and I made during the early part of our marriage ended up being too messy and cumbersome. 

But my little love affair with rocks didn't end entirely; it simply morphed and changed just as I myself did with the new responsibilities of adulthood, marriage, and motherhood.

I still collect rocks these days as I journey through life; rocks that are shiny, rocks that speak to me, rocks that look easy enough to lift, seem small enough to squeeze in and balance among all the other important things lay claim to my strength, that fill my time.

Some of the rocks that I find in my path, rocks that glint in the sun, were maybe never meant for me to find, much less pick up and carry as I walk onward. 

As I climb upward. 

Of course, those rocks aren't really rocks*

You know that, right? 

Some do shine and glitter.  (Oh, vanities.)

Some are weighty; noble and worthy.  (Oh, volunteering.)

Some are just scrap pebbles that would grind themselves to dust if left to the passage of time and the pounding of the elements. (Oh, vagaries.)

What I'm finding now is that while it is easy to pick up those rocks, it can be very hard to put them down.  There is something in me - in most of  us, I'd wager - that feeds on the idea of shouldering heavy burdens.

But what I am also discovering is that to do what I am supposed to do in this life, to live my life to it's full purpose, I must lay those extra rocks down and simply carry the ones that are mine alone.

It's easier said than done. 

Are you a rock collector? 

*Excerpt from Chapter Four of Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World by Joanna Weaver; passage quoted at Insight for Girls.  Many thanks to my dear friend A for pointing me to this book and specifically to this passage.