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Posts Tagged ‘Inukshuk’

stonesMakka Pakka’s frequent cleaning of stones on the BBC’s In the Night Garden… was inspiration for this morning’s scrubbing of stones by my grandson at the kitchen sink.  There are a couple of clay pots near my front door, filled with sea smoothed stones picked at nearby beaches.  He carefully cleaned every one.

Makka Pakka likes to stack the stones in piles of three or more.  We did that too.  Stacking stones has been done by the Earth’s peoples since the days of Stonehenge and likely long before then too.  The Inuit still stack stones into Inukshuks:  Piles that mark a stash or simply say ‘we were here.’  My sons built a large one in our front yard years ago.  It was taken down once we realized it would be a hazard for young children tempted to take a closer look. 

Collecting stones on the beach is also an age old activity.  My ongoing quest is to find ones that are as rounded as possible.  I’ve only ever found a few.  It’s not easy.   Other nice finds are stones that conform perfectly to the contours of one’s closed hand.  I also have a few small white stones that I keep with my seashell collection.  In the sunshine, their luminescence reminds me of the sparkling seashore.

Once you pick up a stone, unless you’re going to skip it across the water, it inevitably is brought back home where you eventually have to decide what to do with it.  My friend Sylvia has placed her collection of stones in a circle on her front deck while  Marsha holds hers in a dish on her coffee table.  There’s a reason why mine are placed in pots near the front door.  

There are two pots:  one for incoming and one for outgoing.  Often, before I set off on a walk to the beach, I’ll take a stone with me to drop off there.  It’s not just my quirky way of ‘giving back to the sea.’  This action lets me pare down my collection by discarding just one at a time.  Ideally, one of these days, there will only be one stone in the incoming pot, with the outgoing pot empty.

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